In separate announcements, Gulfport Energy Corp. and Seneca Resources Corp. reported that they are achieving encouraging production results from some of the first horizontal wells drilled in the Utica Shale.

Gulfport said its Shugert 1-12H well in Belmont County, OH, near Kirkwood Township, tested at an average sustained 18-hour rate of 28.5 Mcf/d of natural gas, 300 b/d of condensate and 2,907 b/d of natural gas liquids (NGLs), assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 10%, or 7,482 boe/d.

Oklahoma City-based Gulfport said the Shugert 1-12H well was tested following the conclusion of a 60-day resting period. The well was flow tested over 48 hours, reaching an average sustained 18-hour rate of 28.5 Mcf/d of natural gas and 300 b/d of condensate. The company said it plans to begin flowing the well into a sales pipeline by the end of January.

“We are pleased to announce another strong flow test from our position in the Utica Shale of Eastern Ohio,” said Gulfport CEO Jim Palm. “Our results to date continue to validate our high expectations for the play and…we look forward to maximizing the play’s potential.”

Gulfport also announced the first sales at the Cadiz refrigeration plant in Harrison County, OH. The facility was built by MarkWest Energy Utica, a joint venture of MarkWest Energy Partners LP and The Energy and Minerals Group (see Shale Daily, Nov. 7). Gulfport said interim 60 Mcf/d operations have begun at the facility, supported by production from its Wagner 1-28H and Boy Scout 1-33H wells.

In October, Gulfport reported that its Shugert 1-1H well tested for 32 hours at a maximum rate of 20 MMcf/d of natural gas, 144 b/d of condensate and 2,002 b/d of NGLs (see Shale Daily, Oct. 15). That well is expected to begin flowing to sales by early December.

Seneca announced that its exploration and production subsidiary, National Fuel Gas Co., flow tested its first horizontal well in Forest County, PA. The company said initial testing at the well began on Nov. 11, lasted six days, and tested at a peak 24-hour rate of 3.9 Mcf/d.

“The Utica Shale represents a great opportunity for National Fuel given its presence across a significant portion of our Appalachian acreage,” said CEO David Smith. “In addition to our second delineation well that was drilled earlier this year in Mt. Jewett, we remain committed to further evaluation of the Utica’s potential.”

Seneca said the tested well has been shut in as it awaits pipeline infrastructure and is expected to begin production in 2Q2013. The company has so far drilled two horizontal and three vertical wells in the Utica. The second horizontal well, in the Mt. Jewett prospect area of McKean County, PA, currently has three frack stages complete. Seneca said it is evaluating if the well can accommodate additional stages.

“Two additional horizontal wells in Pennsylvania are planned during this fiscal year, one in the Owl’s Nest prospect area of Elk County, and another in the Henderson prospect area of Venango and Mercer counties,” Smith said. “These delineation efforts will help us to further understand the extent, the characteristics, and the economics of the Utica across our acreage and the potential of the Utica to add to the value of our already attractive Marcellus Shale footprint.”