Ohio's unconventional natural gas production continued to grow in 3Q2016, increasing by nearly 46% from the year-ago period, while low oil prices demonstrated their impact again as the state reported a decline in that production for the third consecutive quarter.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said the state's horizontal shale wells produced nearly 360.7 Bcf of natural gas in the third quarter, up from the 247.5 Bcf reported in the year-ago period and the 334.3 Bcf reported in 2Q2016. Shale oil production dropped 34% year/year to about 4 million bbl. That's down from 5.7 million bbl in 3Q2015 and 4.8 million bbl in the second quarter.
Sustained low oil prices and the downward pressure they've put on natural gas liquids (NGL) forced many of the Utica Shale's leading operators to shift almost entirely to dry gas earlier this year, where more prolific wells and lower breakeven prices have helped them weather the commodities downturn.
ODNR said the third quarter report lists 1,492 horizontal shale wells, of which 1,464 reported oil and gas production. The average amount of oil produced during the quarter was 2,701 bbl, while the average amount of natural gas produced was 246.4 MMcf. The average number of third quarter days in production was 85. State law does not require the separate reporting of NGLs and condensate, those are included in oil and gas totals.
ODNR's latest data shows 2,319 Utica wells have been permitted and 1,860 have been drilled. In the Marcellus, 44 wells have been permitted and 29 have been drilled.