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Ohio Unconventional Natural Gas Production Hits Record Level in 2018

Unconventional natural gas production in Ohio exceeded 2 Tcf for the first time last year, as volumes set another record in the fourth quarter, according to new state data.

A year-end production report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) indicates gas production from the Utica and Marcellus shales reached nearly 2.4 Tcf in 2018 from the 1.7 Tcf produced in 2017. During 4Q2018, gas production increased 32% year/year to set a quarterly record of 663.5 Bcf, up from 605.7 Bcf in 3Q2018

Oil production, which had declined in 2017 as operators focused on gas acreage, bounced back in 2018 as oil prices rose for most of the year. About 19.7 million bbl was produced, compared with 16.4 million bbl in 2017. Fourth quarter oil production was up 39% from the year-ago period to 5.8 million bbl and from 5.5 million bbl in 3Q2018.

ODNR’s fourth quarter report listed 2,241 producing unconventional wells. The average amount of oil produced by each was 2,593 bbl, while the average amount of gas produced was 296.1 MMcf. Ohio law does not require separate reporting for natural gas liquids or condensate, which are included in the oil and gas totals.

At the end of last week, 3,031 Utica wells had been permitted in the state, while 2,546 had been drilled. That compares with the 2,767 Utica wells permitted at the same time last year and the 2,276 that were drilled. There were 63 Marcellus wells permitted in the state at the end of last week, with 40 drilled, according to ODNR.

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