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Utica Shale Oil, Natural Gas Production Both Increased 30% in Third Quarter

Unconventional oil and natural gas production in Ohio’s Utica Shale saw robust year/year gains in the third quarter of more than 30% each, according to newly released data from the state Department of Natural Resources.

Utica oil production continued to move higher during the period, when volumes came in at about 5.5 million bbl -- up roughly 32% from the year-ago quarter and a strong increase from 2Q2018, when volumes rebounded at 4.5 million bbl.

Until earlier this year, oil production in the state had fluctuated in a reflection of the broad shift to dry gas production that occured about two years ago across much of the Appalachian Basin, when oil prices were lower. While they’ve recently slid from high points, stronger oil prices this year pushed operators back into the Utica’s wetter areas. 

Natural gas production, meanwhile, showed no signs of slowing down. Producers set another state record with 605.7 Bcf reported for the third quarter, up about 31% from the year-ago period. Volumes were also higher than the 554.3 Bcf reported in 2Q2018.

The state’s third quarter report lists 2,242 horizontal shale wells, 2,198 of which reported oil and gas production during the period. The average amount of oil produced by each well during the quarter was 2,523 bbl, while the average amount of gas from each was 275.6 Bcf. The average number of third quarter days in production was 84.

Ohio law does not require separate reporting of natural gas liquids or condensate. Those volumes are included in the oil and gas totals.

To date, 2,953 horizontal Utica permits have been issued in Ohio, while 2,469 of those have been drilled, according to state data. That compares to the 2,703 horizontal Utica permits and 2,469 drilled Utica wells reported at about this time last year.

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