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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Utica Update. Company to Drill 18 Wells on a Single Pad

Magnum Hunter Resources has big plans for its Stadler Pad in Monroe County. It plans to tap both the Marcellus and Utica shales from a single pad. If one reads the popular press this may be confusing. The Marcellus Shale is usually associated with Pennsylvania and natural gas while the Utica Shales is associated with Ohio and with wet gas and oil. Actually the Utica formation lies deeper than the Marcellus and in Monroe and several other counties in Eastern Ohio they overlap. Magnum Hunter has permitted and planned for up to 18 wells all drilled from a single pad, 10 in the Marcellus and 8 in the Utica. The first well drilled on this multi-well pad site will test the Marcellus formation and the second well on this pad will test the Utica formation. The company will use its new Schramm T500XD robotic drilling rig as pictured above.
While drilling is progressing the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Eureka Hunter will begin laying a 20 inch high pressure gas pipeline and Magnum hopes to begin deliveries by October.

In other Utica news, Eclipse Resources, a Pennsylvania company that has just bought heavily into the shale-drilling industry in Ohio said Monday that the company intends initially to concentrate on drilling in five eastern counties (Belmont, Guernsey, Monroe, Harrison and Noble counties)  that are already showing good production of oil and gas from the Utica-Pt. Pleasant shale play. The company does not intend to stop there but hopes to explore eastward into Athens County. Eclipse states that it will be drilling natural gas wells rather than oil.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management continues issuing new permits for horizontal Utica wells on a weekly basis. For the most recent week of June 30-July 6, for example, the Division reports it issued 20 new horizontal permits – six in Belmont County, five in Monroe, four in Harrison, two each in Columbiana and Mahoning, and one in Carroll. The number of drilling rigs working in Ohio increased by 2 last week to 35. Twenty of those rigs are drilling for oil while 15 a drilling for gas. This boom is beginning to take off!
 Update: The first Magnum Hunter well is already on stream. It's producing 97% pure methane. See this post.

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