Two More Drillers Disappointed in Utica Production; One Halts Their Ohio Drilling Activities

First, from The Columbus Dispatch:
A Houston-based drilling company has suspended plans to drill for oil and gas in the shale beneath the Wilds animal preserve in Muskingum County, and quite possibly the rest of Ohio.
As Anadarko Petroleum revises its drilling plans, Ohio geologists have revised maps that show where the Utica shale might best be ’fracked.’ New maps suggest that the shale’s core area, or ’play’ - the Utica shale that’s likely to yield the most natural gas and oil - might extend farther west than previously thought. Anadarko still owns the rights to drill the Utica Shale beneath the 9,000-acre Wilds preserve, which is home to giraffes, rhinos and zebras. It can drill an additional 141,000 acres across eastern Ohio under a lease it signed in 2011 with Columbus-based American Electric Power.
Anadarko officials did not return calls yesterday.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium board member John Matesich said that an Anadarko official told him last week that the company wouldn’t drill the Wilds ’at this time.’
The zoo, which operates the Wilds, located south of Zanesville near Cumberland, owns the surface rights there. AEP owns the mineral rights.
Zoo officials were ecstatic during a Wednesday board meeting when they heard that Anadarko had put its drilling plans on hold.
Tom Stewart, vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, said that the company has stopped drilling activities in the state.
’The results that they’ve gotten from their initial wells do not meet their risk profile,’ Stewart said.
The Ohio Geological Survey’s newest Utica shale map still lists the area that includes the Wilds as ’good’ for oil and gas content.
Read the rest of the article here. 

Next comes this article about Range Resources' approach to disappointing first results from the Utica shale.  It's from the Pittsburgh Business Times:
“Clearly in the Marcellus, we cracked the code and now it’s the largest producing gas field (in the country),” Ventura said. “We carried 100 percent of the R&D in the Marcellus. We don’t have to do that (in other plays).”
That’s why neither Ventura nor Ray Walker, Range’s COO, sounded particularly deflated by their first attempt at a Utica well in northwestern Pennsylvania. The well had a flow rate of 1.4 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day, a fraction of what is considered a successful well these days.
Read that whole article here. 

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