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Ohio's New Utica Maps Give Picture of Current, Future Drilling

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has updated several maps and data charts for the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant formation, including one map showing the weight of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) that could be used by operators to decide where to drill in the future.

The ODNR's Division of Geological Survey (DGS) released an activity map of drilling in the Utica, based on data from the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. The DGS plotted wells in various stages of production, as of March 2. Those stages were permitted (295 wells), drilled (155), producing (75), drilling (16), plugged (11), not drilled (eight) and inactive (three).

Chesapeake Exploration LLC was the top operator cited by the DGS, with 362 of the 563 wells (62.3%) plotted on the map. Gulfport Energy Corp. was second with 33 wells, followed by CNX Gas Co. LLC (22 wells), Hess Ohio Developments LLC (19), Antero Resources Appalachian Corp. (18) and Enervest Operating LLC and HG Energy LLC (16 each). Devon Energy Production Co. and RE Gas Development LLC each had 13 wells and Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC had 12.

Other operators cited on the map were Mountaineer Keystone LLC (7 wells), Atlas Noble LLC and PDC Energy Inc. (5 each), XTO Energy Inc. (4) and EQT Production Co., Hilcorp Energy Co. and Sierra Resources LLC (3 each). Carrizo (Utica) LLC, Chevron Appalachia LLC and Halcon Operating Co. Inc. all had two wells apiece, while Eclipse Resources, Hall Drilling LLC and SWEPI LP, a Royal Dutch Shell plc subsidiary, each had one well on the map.

The DGS also released a list using Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management data, which showed that 548 permits had been issued for horizontal wells as of March 2. The data also showed that 255 of the wells permitted had been drilled.

The division's TOC map is similar to previous ones (see Shale Daily, Aug. 23, 2012), with a line running in a mostly C-shape from the coast of Lake Erie to the Appalachian Mountains. The core area for natural gas deposits lay east of the line -- in areas believed to have at least "very good" maximum TOC value per well, or 2% weight.

The 2% TOC line snakes across Ashtabula County and meets the Lake Erie coast in the far northeast corner of the state. The line returns to land in Lake County and heads south through Geauga, Cuyahoga and Summit counties, then swings west through Medina, Lorain, Huron, Erie, Sandusky, Wood and Henry counties before turning south again through Putnam and Allen counties, where it swings to the south and east.

The line traverses Auglaize, Logan, Union, Champaign, Madison, Franklin, Delaware, Knox, Licking, Fairfield, Perry, Muskingum, Morgan, Washington, Athens and Meigs counties before reaching the Ohio River and the West Virginia border.

A similar map of existing hydrocarbons shows a concentration in the east central part of the state, in a roughly triangle-shaped area from Trumbull County to Knox County, then south to Monroe and Washington counties.

The DGS also released a map showing the maximum value per well of the Upper Ordovician Shale interval -- an area that centers on Seneca, Wyandot, Crawford, Marion, Morrow and Delaware counties, in the north west central part of the state -- and another map showing the maturity of the state's shale plays. The latter shows the southeast corner of the state is weighted toward natural gas, with bands of lean and rich condensate immediately to the west, followed by land weighted toward oil.

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