Our regular readers know that I have been unabashedly bullish on the Utica Shale's gas and oil potential. I view it as possibly the biggest game changer since the Erie Canal. The initial estimates of the formation's reserves have yet to be calculated but one figure that Chesapeake Energy provided to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, shows one well in Harrison County producing 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or 2 percent of the state's entire natural gas production. Put another way, that single well is producing 300 times more gas than the typical Ohio gas well, drilled vertically without hydraulic fracturing. Currently Chesapeake has nine producing wells in eastern Ohio. Five of those wells have produced 2.6 billion cubic feet of gas to date. The other four wells have produced hundreds of barrels of oil but are not yet producing gas.
Ohio has issued about 150 permits for Utica Shale wells in Ohio. By contrast, the state has about 49,000 traditional gas wells reporting production of about 73 billion cubic feet in 2011.
The figures continue to fuel Chesapeake's optimism about the formation, spokesman Keith Fuller said in a statement. "The data reported, while promising, is still very limited and only a small part of the information needed to gauge the potential of the entire formation," he added.