Eastern Section Meeting

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A First Look at Production and Completion Data from the Utica-Point Pleasant Shale Play

Abstract

The first “Utica Play” horizontal well in the U.S. was drilled by Range Resources in 2010 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania followed closely by wells in Ohio by Chesapeake Energy. Even though most refer to this as the “Utica Play”, the Point Pleasant Formation is the primary target and producing interval. The Point Pleasant consists of interbedded light gray to black limestones, brown to black organic-rich calcareous shales, and, quite often, brachiopod coquina layers. The overlying Utica Shale is mostly light gray to black calcareous shales with few limestone layers and is, in general, more massive and denser than the Point Pleasant. In most wells analyzed the Point Pleasant has higher source rock potential than within the Utica. Clay content of the Point Pleasant is fairly low (5-20%) while the overlying Utica can be 30-40%. Low water saturation is also prevalent (5-20%) and post-frac “soaking” periods appear to be effective. Most of the drilling in this play thus far has been concentrated in Ohio where operators have found the best section of the Point Pleasant Formation in a wet gas window. Until recently it has been difficult to assemble sufficient completion and production information from public sources to provide any meaningful analysis of the play and its potential. Necessary infrastructure development slowed early completions and production. Until June of 2013, Ohio only required annual production statements from oil and gas operators, and since then quarterly production statements have been required. Quarterly production statements and completion reports are now available for over 400 producing Utica-Point Pleasant wells allowing us to finally look at geology, completion methodology and resultant production. We have created a database that contains many factors from each well including: total lateral length, number of frac stages, stage spacing, rest periods, reported initial production, average daily production, depth, and location. These items have been compared and mapped along with geologic factors to provide an early analysis of the geology and production from this still-developing play.