Major eastern Ohio gas driller sees production doubling - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Major eastern Ohio gas driller sees production doubling

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The most active driller of natural gas wells in the Utica Shale region of eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia expects to double production by the end of the year.

In its fourth quarter earnings report, Chesapeake Energy says it expects to be producing an equivalent of 700 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfe), compared to the 345 mmcfe reported in the last three months of 2013.

As of December 31, 2013, Chesapeake had drilled a total of 425 wells in the region, the vast majority of which stretches in a wide swath from Mahoning County through Columbiana County southward to Harrison County.

Chesapeake reports 230 producing wells and 195 wells awaiting pipeline connection or in various stages of completion.

Chesapeake says its operations were impacted by delays in completing infrastructure and facilities needed to transport and process gas liquids. As a result, the vast majority of Chesapeake's wells have not been producing to full capacity.

The company says it expects those issues to have less of an impact this year. Service has resumed at the Natrium processing plant in West Virginia. The company also expects that production will be aided in June when the third phase of gas processing at the Kensington facility in Columbiana County is expected to be completed.

During a conference call on the company's earnings, Senior Vice President of Operations M. Christopher Doyle said that Chesapeake is drilling more wells than anyone else in the Utica region.

Doyle also pointed out that Chesapeake is improving its efficiency.  He told reporters that drill rigs are averaging 13 days on site, and recently they completed two wells in less than eight days.


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