Chesapeake reports progress in wet gas window of Utica shale play

By OGJ editors

Chesapeake Energy Corp. outlined its drilling progress in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and northwestern West Virginia during a May 1 earnings call in which the company stressed that it is shifting its focus from natural gas toward liquids-rich plays.

Chesapeake has 1.3 million acres of leasehold in the Utica shale, and it currently operates 10 rigs there. The Oklahoma City independent plans to average 13 rigs in 2012 and 22 rigs in 2013 in the Utica.

The company’s initial development focus has been in the play’s wet gas window. Chesapeake has drilled 59 wells in the play, of which 9 currently are producing. Of those 9 wells, 8 are in the wet gas window.

On a post-processing basis, peak rates from the wet gas window averaged 415 b/d of oil, 260 b/d of natural gas liquids, and 3.9 MMcfd of gas, Chesapeake said.

Chesapeake’s best Utica well, the Buell 8H in Harrison County, Ohio, had an initial peak rate of more than 3,000 boe/d in September 2011 with about half of the production coming from liquids. Currently, the Buell well is producing at 1,040 boe/d.

Meanwhile, 15 Utica wells currently are being completed, 15 wells await completion, and 20 await being connected with a pipeline.

Speaking separately in Columbus, Ohio, on May 2, American Petroleum Institute Pres. and Chief Executive Officer Jack Gerard said Ohio was on the cutting edge of shale energy development that is a “game changer” that the US has not seen since the 1990s.

“Ohio is home to one of the largest resources of energy in the US and using smart policies to develop these resources would mean more jobs, better wages, and more revenue to the government,” Gerard said.

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