BP plans to exit Utica shale

BP America reported that it will not proceed with development of its nearly 100,000 acres of leasehold in the emerging Utica shale in Ohio.

Regulatory filings show the company recorded a $521 million write-off relating to its Utica shale acreage in this year’s first quarter.

The announcement follows the company’s decision to create a separate business around its onshore oil and gas activities in the US Lower 48, and was made in conjunction with the release of first-quarter financial results.

Brian Gilvary, BP chief financial officer, declined to say if the company had any plans for the acreage.

“In terms of Utica, we’ve taken the write-off of the assets where we’ve made the appraisal wells, it’s premature to say what we’ll do with the remaining parts of that asset base,” Gilvary told analysts on Apr. 29.

The company acquired its foothold in the Utica shale in March 2012, agreeing to lease about 84,000 acres in Trumball County, in far northeast Ohio, from the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley.

Data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources shows the bulk of Utica permitting activity is occurring to the south, in Carroll, Harrison, Columbiana, Noble, and Guernsey counties. The agency had issued 1,230 permits to drill in the formation as of Apr. 26.

Contact Rachael Seeley at rachaels@ogjonline.com.

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