Michigan Collingwood-Utica gas play emerging

Alan Petzet
OGJ Chief Editor-Exploration

HOUSTON, May 7 -- Encana Corp. said it has established a large land position in a shale gas play in Michigan after its first well flowed gas-condensate from Middle Ordovician Collingwood shale and underlying Utica shale.

Encana, which has accumulated 250,000 net acres the past 2 years at an average $150/acre, said its first well’s 30-day test averaged 2.5 MMcfd of gas plus condensate and natural gas liquids.

It is too early to project the play’s scope and economic potential, the company said, but it called the first well promising and said the play could add “meaningful future resources and production to our North American portfolio of prolific resource plays.” Encana will drill more exploration wells this year.

The company has acquired 7-year leases in seven counties centered on Cheboygan, Kalkaska, and Missaukee counties in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. Bidders at a Michigan state lease sale earlier this week paid substantially more, Encana noted.

The first well, drilled by Encana subsidiary Petoskey Exploration LLC, Denver, is a 5,000-ft horizontal penetration that targeted the Collingwood shale at 9,500 ft true vertical depth (OGJ Online, Mar. 22, 2010). Petoskey’s Pioneer 1-3 is in 3-24n-7w, Missaukee County, 30 miles southeast of Traverse City.

“Natural gas is being produced primarily from the Collingwood shale, with contribution from the overlying Utica shale,” Encana said. “With further drilling we hope to demonstrate stronger gas rates as we optimize well completion practices and prove up rich liquids potential in some parts of the play.”

Collingwood, a shaly limestone about 40 ft thick, lies just above the Ordovician Trenton formation. The Michigan basin extends into Ontario, Canada, where oil and gas regulators were said to be studying its potential.

Encana said Michigan produces about 400 MMcfd of gas from wells in other formations in the Michigan basin.

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