The typical Utica shale well in eastern Ohio produced 137,168 thousand cubic feet of natural gas and 5,439 barrels of liquids from July through September, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The typical Utica shale well in eastern Ohio produced 137,168 thousand cubic feet of natural gas and 5,439 barrels of liquids from July through September, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

That is enough natural gas to generate about $550,000 and enough oil to generate an additional $490,000 from each of the state’s first 245 Utica shale wells.

On an annualized basis, those Ohio wells could be producing nearly $1 billion in oil and gas.

“Those are very good numbers,” said Jeff Daniels, a geophysicist at Ohio State University, co-director of the university’s Sub-Surface Energy Resources Center and an expert on Utica shale drilling. “They’re high but they don’t shock me.”

One oil company executive recently told a Pittsburgh conference that one of its Utica wells was producing enough natural gas and oil in 12 months to pay for all costs associated with drilling and fracking the well, Daniels said.

Such wells cost $6 million to $10 million.

The Utica shale results in Ohio are “big … and real, very real,” he said.

Those are the averages produced by 245 horizontal wells, the state said in releasing first-ever quarterly production totals.

The 245 wells produced a total of 1,332,477 barrels of oil and 33,606,075 thousand cubic feet of natural gas in the third quarter, said ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

The Utica wells were, on average, in production for 55 days in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, the state said.

The biggest-producing oil well was Gulfport Energy’s Boy Scout well in Harrison County at 41,617 barrels during 70 days of production in the third quarter.

The highest-producing gas well was Gulfport Energy’s Stutzman well in Belmont County at 1,249,739 thousand cubic feet of natural gas during 89 days of production in the third quarter.

The reports lists 285 wells, but 40 of those wells reported no production as they are awaiting pipeline infrastructure.

Producers were required for the first time to submit quarterly production totals to Ohio. That was mandated under Substitute House Bill 59 that went into effect Sept. 29, one day before the end of the third quarter, state spokesman Mark Bruce said.

That meant that the producers had 45 days after the end of the quarter to report all production totals to the state.

Fourth-quarter production data must be submitted by mid-February and will likely be released next March, Bruce said.

Previously, drillers in Ohio only had to report production totals once a year in March.

That caused great consternation among financial analysts who said they needed more data to assess the prospects of how successful Utica shale drilling in Ohio might be.

Ohio law does not require the separate reporting on natural gas liquids such as ethane, butane and propane. Gas reporting totals listed on the report include such natural gas liquids, the state said.

As of Saturday, Ohio had approved 1,033 Utica shale permits, of which 661 wells have been drilled. Of that total, 249 wells are in production.

The new report is available at http://oilandgas.ohiodnr.gov/production.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning@thebeaconjournal.com.

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