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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has just released much-anticipated Utica Shale well data for the fourth quarter of 2016. And even in a year in which drilling slowed to almost a grinding halt, Ohio Utica Shale natural gas production continued to soar, rising by 43 billion cubic feet (bcf) to 345 billion cubic feet in the fourth quarter, which represents a gain of 14 percent over the previous year’s quarterly result.
Even more notably, production rose by over 43 percent from 2015 to 2016, rising from 956 bcf to 1.4 trillion cubic feet year-over-year!
Although the fourth quarter clearly showed declines from the previous quarter’s results, no doubt due to a lack of drilling, the production data was positive when looking at the big picture.
Oil production was not as fruitful for Ohio in the fourth quarter and the year as a whole, however. Oil production fell to 3.6 million barrels in the fourth quarter, down 2.8 million barrels, as compared to the prior-year quarter.
ODNR reported the natural gas and oil production figures in Chart 1.
Total production for the last two years, with the percent change in production from 2015 to 2016, can be found in Chart 2.
The ODNR quarterly report lists 1,561 wells, 1,511 of which reported production. Of the 1,511 wells reporting production:
A closer look at the production reports (Charts 3 and 4) also provides insight into how each county is doing and, as EID accurately predicted, Belmont County continues to soar in natural gas production. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see Jefferson County making a debut in the fourth quarter, topping the charts as hosting the best natural gas well of the quarter. Guernsey County and Harrison County showed top numbers for oil wells in Ohio, although oil production at large was decidedly low, as compared to 2015.
Finally, kudos to Ascent Resources for having nine of the 10 top natural gas wells this past quarter. Eclipse Resources and PDC Energy also nabbed top spots in the oil window of the Utica Shale play.