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Blog: The Utica Shale is Changing Our Landscape

Thursday, May 9, 2013 by


Get in your vehicle and take a drive. Every direction you go, you see something related to the shale play. Whether it is pipelines, well pads, active drilling or even just equipment being moved, you are probably going to find in the Farm and Dairy region.

I traveled to Washington County last week for a story and I couldn’t help but notice a couple of things.

The traffic

First of all, the traffic on the roads. The number of brand new excavators I passed. And of course, as I traveled down the back roads, the number of gas drilling equipment either on the roadways or parked waiting for their next project.

I think the traffic caught my eye because I have heard the complaints here in Columbiana County already. And the thing that went through my mind is that we have no reason for complaints, it is nothing like Washington County.

The other thing that caught my eye was the number of brand new excavators, trucks were hauling. We all know these aren’t new machines and for me to pass a handful just on Interstate 79 means there is a lot of work going on in the area.


Now, here in Columbiana County, a short drive in almost any direction and you will see the construction of pipelines. Go north and the land has survey ribbons and pipelines line the roadways. Go west and they are everywhere in Kensington as construction moves fast on the M3 Midstream gas collection/processing plant. And now additional plans for other pipelines are being released.

As you drive around the region, it’s obvious to see the different stages that different areas of the Marcellus and Utica plays are in.


The real news, most regional residents want to know is what the wells are really capable of producing.

Many landowners, landmen, speculators and others are anxiously awaiting the well production report that is yet to be released from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and others are even speculating as to why the results haven’t been released. All oil and gas well drillers had to produce their well results by a March 31 deadline. Yet, the results have not been issued publicly by the ODNR.

However, Gulfport Energy which has wells in Harrison and Guernsey Counties released their first quarter production results this week. The results give us a vision of what maybe under the ground and awaiting exploration.

The Utica

In the Utica Shale, Gulfport spud 10 gross wells during the first quarter of 2013, according to the first quarter results. At the end of the first quarter, Gulfport had one gross well waiting on completion, three gross wells being drilled by horizontal rigs, five gross wells with their vertical sections completed and waiting on a horizontal rig, and one gross well being drilled with a top-hole rig. Gulfport is currently operating four horizontal rigs and two top-hole rigs in the Utica Shale.


Gulfport stated in a press release the company is currently planning to accelerate its 2013 drilling program, increasing its Utica Shale operated horizontal rig count to seven rigs by the end of June 2013. During 2013, Gulfport has budgeted $494 million to $504 million to drill approximately 55 to 60 gross (49 to 54 net) wells in the Utica Shale .

Gulfport ended the first quarter of 2013 with three gross wells producing. Subsequent to the first quarter, Gulfport began flowing an additional six gross wells into sales pipelines. Gulfport also anticipates an additional four gross wells to begin flowing into sales pipelines by mid-June.

According to the release, Gulfport recently tested its Lyon 1-27H and Lyon 2-27H wells in the Utica Shale in Harrison County. The Lyon 1-27H was drilled to a true vertical depth of 7,466 feet with a 6,694 foot horizontal lateral.

Following a 45-day resting period, the well tested at a gross peak rate of 1,087 barrels of condensate per day and 2.5 MMCF per day of natural gas.

The Stout 2-28H well in Harrison County was drilled to a true vertical depth of 8,093 feet with a 6,914 foot horizontal lateral. Following a 40-day resting period, the well was placed on production at a gross 24-hour peak sales rate of 413 barrels of condensate per day and 3.3 MMCF per day of natural gas.

The Utica shale looks very promising after the wells they have drilled.

However, a graph shows that the Wagner well followed by the boy scout wells in Harrison County continue to lead Gulfport’s production.

Gas (MMcf) Oil (Bbls)
Wagner 1-28H 10.1 108
Boy Scout 1-33 1.5 449
Boy Scout 5-33H 1.3 205
Ryser 1-25H 2.7 312
Shugert 1-1H 14.9 83
Shugert 1-12H 16.3 109
BK Stephens 1-16H 3.6 390
Stout 1-28H 4.2 443
Stout 2-28H 3.3 413

When the production report is released by the ODNR, it will be interesting to see which wells in which counties are leading the way. No matter what, it is clear that the landscape in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will forever be changed by shale production.

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Farm and Dairy, a weekly newspaper located in Salem, Ohio, has been reporting on topics that interest farmers and landowners since 1914.

Through the Shale Gas Reporter, we are dedicated to giving our readers unbiased and reliable information on shale gas development.