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A Utica Shale Update


The scope of this blog post is to take a quick snap shot of the recent activity in the core of the Utica Shale play of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Drillinginfo offers a suite of tools to gain this knowledge quickly and accurately. Well permitting is always a pretty good start; however, something to keep in mind is the importance of including the Point Pleasant in the query when performing this search. According to the USGS, the Point Pleasant is a Limestone (60%) inter-bedded with shales (40%) which serves as an effective perforation interval below the Utica Shale. The Trenton Limestone (below the Point Pleasant) is also a relevant reservoir to the play. The following chart showing permits approved this year highlights this observation.

Utica Shale Utica Trend Target Formation

Utica Shale Utica Trend Operator

Leasing is also another good indicator of play activity. The two tables below reflect the leasing record counts for Ohio since the start of 2014.

Utica Shale Ohio Leasing

Finally, spatial representations of the play core sort of sums up a brief play overview. The map below showcases the sweet spots discovered thus far. This includes wells reported as Utica, Point Pleasant or a combination of the two. Trenton is not included.

Utica Shale Peak BOE

Since production is reported annually in Ohio, wells shown reflect the peak month of rate in order to provide the largest data set available. Usually, this is the first full month or second month of the well’s productive life.

The Utica/Point Pleasant is a respectful unconventional resource play that has gained the attention of both domestic and international investors over the past few years. However, the play has not quite proven itself on productivity basis to rival the economic Eagle Ford, the prolific stacked potential of the Permian Basin or the mighty Bakken.

Your Turn

What do you think? What are your thoughts on the potential of Utica productivity? What would you predict to be the most effective driving to help the play reach its full potential? Leave a comment below.

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Matt Menchaca

Matthew Menchaca is a Research Analyst at Drillinginfo. He is a key member of the Data Management Department and the DI Analytics group. He performs industry research, tracks play development and provides various types of analysis on unconventional resource plays in the U.S. Matthew graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 after studying Geography and Geological Sciences.