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Eclipse Testing Tighter Downspacing in Utica Shale

Eclipse Resources Corp. has finished completion operations at its three-well Sawyer pad in Monroe County, OH, where for the first time it plans to test 730-foot downspacing that could increase its Utica Shale drilling locations by up to 20%.

The company said it expects to tie the wells to sales early in the third quarter. The spacing test is Eclipse’s first below 1,000 feet on its dry gas Utica acreage, where it recently moved drilling activity and where management said higher reservoir pressures are creating "added complexity."

Eclipse, which began a public company last year, averaged 73.5 MMcfe/d of production during 2014. Its volumes have risen steadily to 160 MMcfe/d in 1Q2015 from 130.7 MMcfe/d in 4Q2014 (see Shale Daily, March 5; June 9, 2014). The company said second quarter production is on track to beat the high-end of its 180 MMcfe/d guidance. May production averaged 190 MMcfe/d.

Eclipse said its recent operational gains and cost savings through the first quarter would allow it to complete the four well Weekender pad in the “lean” condensate area in Guernsey County, OH, by the third quarter.

The company has only one rig working in Ohio, where all of its acreage is located. It is currently at work on an eight-well pad in Monroe County, which was slated for sales in December, but final permitting for gathering lines may delay tie-ins until January, management said.

Eclipse added that it's currently under-spending this year's $352 million capital expenditure budget. Before it elected to complete the Weekender pad, the company had planned to turn 29 net operated and nonoperated Utica wells to sales this year (see Shale Daily, April 14).  

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