Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has drilled and is producing from three wells in the eastern Ohio portion of the Utica Shale, the most recent of which delivered more than 9,500 bbl of crude oil and 12 MMcf of natural gas in the first 20 days online, the producer said Thursday.

The Woodlands, TX-based producer noted the activity in required filings with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“Though it is very early in our exploration program, the strong initial results are encouraging,” said Anadarko’s Bob Daniels, head of worldwide exploration. “We expect to begin flowing back our fourth Utica exploration well in the next few days and are currently drilling our fifth exploration well in the play.

“We plan to continue an active drilling program throughout the year as we evaluate the liquids-rich potential of our 390,000-acre gross position in the Utica Shale.”

The Brookfield A-3H well in Noble County was the biggest producer in its first 20 days online, Anadarko said. Oil from the well was characterized as light-gravity crude, while the gas was liquids-rich, the company said.

The Spencer A-1H and Spencer A-5H wells in Guernsey County cumulatively have produced a combined 20,000 bbl of light-gravity crude oil and 37 MMcf of liquids-rich gas “in just under two months on line,” said Anadarko.

All three horizontal wells were drilled to a vertical depth of about 6,500 feet and a lateral length of about 5,000 feet with 16- to 19-stage completions.

Anadarko operates the Brookfield and Spencer wells with a 100% working interest and 82.5% net revenue interest, subject to a participation agreement with Ohio-based Artex Energy Group LLC, a subsidiary of Artex Oil Co. Artex in 2009 was the state’s leading exploratory driller; it now has 615 operated wells and 21 nonoperated wells in Ohio.

According to data compiled by NGI’s Shale Daily from company reports, Anadarko is the fourth largest leaseholder in the Ohio Utica/Point Pleasant play with an estimated 240,000 net acres (see Shale Daily, April 3).