Utica Shale Development

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted June 29, 2012

Ohio is about to get seriously drilled, ladies and gentlemen. Pittsburgh-based energy operator CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) wants to drill 15 wells in Ohio’s Utica shale reserves. Those 15 would come on top of CONSOL’s first well, in Tuscarawas County, OH.

Moving forward with its Ohio operations, CONSOL is working with New York-based Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) to create wells in Guernsey, Belmont, Jefferson, and Harrison counties.

CONSOL offered Hess the partnership in exchange for a payment of $594 million.

CONSOL’s Ohio operations are nothing if not large-scale, as all these wells will be drilled throughout the nearly 200,000 acres it owns.

From The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio:

[CONSOL general manager of Utica operations Harry] Schurr said the company is focusing its drilling on nearly 87,000 acres in five Ohio counties: Portage, Trumbull, Mahoning, Tuscarawas and Noble.

In fact, the company has more acreage in Portage than any other in Ohio: 25,443 acres.

It has three rigs operating in Ohio: horizontal drilling rigs in Rootstown Township and in Noble County, plus a vertical drilling rig in Mahoning County, Schurr said.

At this point, CONSOL is working to figure out the details—just what can it expect to get out of the Ohio shale, in terms of natural gas, oil, and ‘wet gasses’ (butane, ethane, propane)?

The Utica shale is in the early stages of development, and levels of technically recoverable resources have yet to be determined.

Overall, CONSOL is playing a long game and this will be a major operation which should generate quite a few jobs.

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