Friday, March 22, 2019

Permitting Slows in Utica Shale Last Week, But Producing Wells Total Climbs

New permits issued last week: 6 (Previous week: 21)  -15
Total horizontal permits issued: 3037 (Previous week: 3031 +6
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2552 (Previous week: 2546)  +6
Total horizontal wells producing: 2168 (Previous week: 2141)  +27
Utica rig count: 15 (Previous week: 14)  +1

Utica Shale Activity Map for March 2019 Now Available

There was previously an error on the ODNR website causing the Marcellus shale map to show when attempting to access the Utica map, but that has been corrected.  So here is the updated activity map!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Encino Plans a Measured Approach to Maximizing Utica Assets

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
In an industry known for boom-and-bust cycles, Encino Energy plans to follow a strategy of stable development in Ohio’s Utica Shale, President and CEO Hardy Murchison said Friday. 
Encino Energy is a partner in Encino Acquisitions Partners, which bought Chesapeake Energy’s assets in Ohio last year for $2 billion, including an office building office in Louisville, drilling rights to 900,000 acres and more than 900 wells. 
But where Chesapeake spent freely to explore new areas — and piled up debt — Texas-based Encino Energy has focused on proven reserves and a healthier balance sheet. 
“All of that is part of a longer-term strategy to run this as a normal business that needs to be profitable, less volatile and therefore better for its shareholders, its employees and the community,” Murchison told The Canton Repository after he and other members of Encino’s team spoke to the Stark Economic Development Board at Kent State University at Stark. 
On Thursday, Murchison and chief operations officer Ray N. Walker Jr. met with Gov. Mike DeWine and other state leaders, and spoke at the Ohio Oil & Gas Association’s annual meeting.
Continue reading by clicking here. 

And from NGI:
“You have to recognize that we’re in the transition from Chesapeake to Encino and that takes months to accomplish,” Murchison said Thursday at the winter meeting of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) in Columbus. “As we take over, we obviously start to have more and more influence, but to be clear, virtually all of the wells that will go into production in 2019 were planned by Chesapeake when we arrived on scene.” 
In his first public address since the acquisition was announced, Murchison said Encino is stabilizing operations and trying to work at a steadier pace. Chesapeake was among the first to develop the Utica, and with a once formidable position across the Appalachian Basin, it earned a reputation for innovation and solid well results. Chesapeake, Murchison said, had regularly been moving crews back and forth between Ohio and Pennsylvania, where it still has a large position in the northeastern part of the state. 
Click here to read that whole article (subscription required).

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Digging Deep Into the 4th Quarter 2018 Utica Shale Production Data

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has now released the production data from the Utica shale for the fourth and final quarter of 2018. As always, we are going to give you a look at how the numbers compare to past quarters, past years, and how they break down among the various drillers who are active in Ohio and the counties where they are drilling.  We also give you the top 10 oil and gas-producing wells of the quarter.

First, a quick note.  The ODNR news release says that there are 2,575 wells on the report and 2,241 of them reported some production.  But in examining the actual report that was released, only 2,241 total wells are listed, and 39 of those do not show any oil, gas, or brine produced.  So the numbers on this deep dive into the numbers will use what we were actually able to take from the report rather than what was listed in the news release.


First up, let's take a look at how the quarterly data compares from the first quarter of 2014 (which is when the ODNR began reporting quarterly data rather than one yearly report) through the final quarter of 2018. As a reminder, all oil figures are 42-gallon barrels, and all gas production is measured in MCF:

For the fourth consecutive quarter, oil production was on the rise.  In fact, the fourth quarter of 2018 saw the second-most total oil produced from shale in Ohio in any quarter over the past five years.  Of course, the production rates remained much lower than they were at their peak, although the 2,639 barrels of oil per well is the highest number since the third quarter of 2016.

Gas, meanwhile, continues to set a new peak for total production in each quarter.  Also, after a couple of quarters of production rates slowing a bit, the fourth quarter of 2018 also set new peaks for gas produced per well and per day in production.

The next table shows the production comparison year-over-year.

After trending up for the first three quarters, the strong oil production in the fourth quarter of 2018 results in a yearly total that ends the decline of the previous two years.  The 19,786,375 barrels of oil produced is the second-highest yearly total seen in the past eight years.  Gas, meanwhile, set yet another production peak and surpassed 2,000,000,000 mcf in a year for the first time.


Here are the top 10 oil-producing wells in quarter four of 2018:

As usual, Eclipse Resources dominates the list of the top 10 oil wells.  7 of the 10 wells are operated by Eclipse.  The Outlaw A 1H takes the top spot after being in 5th in total production during the third quarter, but the added total production isn't a surprise because that well had a production rate of 1,985 barrels per day in the third quarter and simply wasn't in production for as many days as some of the other wells on the list.

Here are the top 10 gas-producing wells from the quarter:

There's some interesting changes to this list as compared to the third quarter.  During quarter three, 9 of the 10 top gas-producing wells belonged to Ascent Resources (although Eclipse did hold the top spot with the Rolland C 5H well that was the fourth-highest producer of the fourth quarter).  In this quarter, though, Eclipse takes not only the top spot but also four more.  Ascent has four wells in the top 10, and Chesapeake Exploration sneaks into the tenth spot.

So, out of the twenty wells making up the top 10 oil producers and the top 10 gas producers, Eclipse Resources operates twelve of them.


Here is the production data broken down by county:

Without much change in the well count during this quarter, some of the changes that might have been expected did not occur.  Carroll County continues to have the most wells in production by a small margin despite seeing no change to this number during the quarter.  Guernsey County continues to be the hot spot for oil, while Belmont County is the leader in total gas production and gas produced per well, although Jefferson County still edged it out in gas produced per day.  


And here are the results broken down by operator:

Eclipse Resources now has enough wells in production that it becomes the new leader in total barrels of oil produced.  Ascent Resources continues to lead the way in total gas produced.

Also, we see Encino Acquisition Partners, which acquired all of Chesapeake Energy's Utica shale assets in Ohio, make its first appearance on the production data summary under the name EAP Ohio LLC.

ODNR Publishes 4th Quarter 2018 Utica Shale Production Data

From the ODNR:
During the fourth quarter of 2018, Ohio’s horizontal shale wells produced 5,810,484 barrels of oil and 663,534,323 Mcf (663 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according to figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 
Natural gas production from the fourth quarter of 2018 showed a 31.89 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2017, while oil production increased 38.56 percent for the same period. 

2017 Quarter 4 (Shale)
2018 Quarter 4 (Shale)
Percentage Change
Barrels of oil
4,193,562 bbl
5,810,484 bbl
Mcf of natural gas
503,066,907 Mcf
663,534,323 Mcf
The ODNR quarterly report lists 2,575 horizontal shale wells, 2,241 of which reported oil and natural gas production during the quarter. Of the wells reporting oil and natural gas results:
  • The average amount of oil produced was 2,593 barrels.
  • The average amount of natural gas produced was 296,088 Mcf.
  • The average number of fourth quarter days in production was 86.
All horizontal production reports can be accessed at
We will have our breakdown of the data ready soon!

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Utica Rig Count Dips During Busy Week of Permitting

New permits issued last week: 21 (Previous week: 9)  +12
Total horizontal permits issued: 3031 (Previous week: 3015 +16
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2546 (Previous week: 2535)  +11
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 17)  -3

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Last Days of The Daily Digger Are Counting Down

On March 31, 2019 we will stop operating The Daily Digger blog.  The March 2019 issue of The Digger energy news publication will be the last that we publish.

Throughout this month we will continue to update this page with the latest news as we have done throughout the more than 7 years that this blog has existed.

Thank you to all those that have read and supported us throughout these years.

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