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EnerVest Ohio Utica shale operations emerging

EV Energy Partners LP and affiliates, the largest conventional oil and gas producer in Ohio, has accumulated 780,000 net acres of mostly held-by-production in the state and is poised to operate and participate in the emerging Utica shale unconventional play in eastern Ohio.

EnerVest, which operates 60% of its 780,000 net acres, said it recently finalized a long-term joint venture with Chesapeake Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, to develop the Utica shale.

Chesapeake, which will operate about 40% of EnerVest’s net acres, is running five rigs, has several wells producing, and others awaiting completion. The wells are in the oil, natural gas liquids, and dry gas windows and are in and outside the play’s core area.

EV Energy Partners has a total of 159,000 net working interest acres in Ohio, along with the equivalent of a 7.5% overriding royalty interest on 240,000 net acres. EVEP has 22,000 net working interest acres in the joint venture.

EnerVest acts as operator for EVEP and an EnerVest institutional partnership on more than 400,000 net acres in Ohio separate from Chesapeake, most of which is held by production. Within this acreage position, EVEP has on average an approximate 33% interest (137,000 net working interest acres) and holds the equivalent of a 7.5% overriding royalty interest in approximately 160,000 net acres.

Because of its proximity to the Chesapeake joint venture, EnerVest said, meaningful cooperation is probable in forming drilling units and contracting for oilfield services and midstream operations, which involves maximizing value from ethane and other NGL. EnerVest has permitted or is permitting 10 wells and plans to drill two to three Utica laterals later this year and early 2012.

Ohio records indicate 25 Utica shale horizontal permits have been granted, EnerVest said.

“We are awaiting more sustained test and production results from the spread of wells in various stages of drilling, completion, testing, and production before we can assess the near-term value to EVEP. We expect these results to be released within 30 to 60 days,” EnerVest said.

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