Ready to produce

The Houston-based company that this year drilled and hydraulically fractured the first Trumbull County horizontal well now says the Hartford well also will be the first in full oil and gas production, expected by summer.

Halcon Resources Corp. is installing 8-inch steel pipeline in the area of the “Brugler” well off Hayes Orangeville Road in northern Trumbull County.

Crews could be seen Wednesday working on the 18,841-foot pipeline in the area of Hayes Orangeville.

Further south in Trumbull County, workers Wednesday also were laying a 16-inch natural gas steel pipeline, this one about a mile west of Halcon’s “Kibler” well on Brunstetter Road.

Both new lines will connect to a Dominion East Ohio distribution line, Trumbull County Engineer’s Office road use maintenance agreement coordinator Jack Simon said.

Records provided by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio indicated those two pipelines are among 134 “gathering” lines being planned for eastern Ohio, all in areas of the Utica Shale. A third line will connect a Halcon well known as the “Phillips” just across the Pennsylvania state line in Mercer County being put into production.

In a statement to shareholders, Halcon chairman and chief executive officer Floyd Wilson last week expressed enthusiasm about operations.

“I am excited with our early stage Utica / Point Pleasant results,” Wilson said. “Our position in this part of the Utica / Point Pleasant play is highly prospective, in my opinion, and these results further validate our original thesis.”

According to the update, tests on two wells recently drilled in western Pennsylvania turned out satisfactory numbers. Company officials predicted Mercer County’s Phillips well would turn out about 360 barrels of natural gas liquids per day. The well also tested at a rate of 2.5 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.

A second Pennsylvania well in Venango County tested at a peak rate of 6.6 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and is estimated to produce about 750 barrels of natural gas liquids per day. The report gave no indication of early tests on the Ohio wells.

Three wells, including the two in Trumbull County, are in a stage known as “resting.”

Halcon officials said they plan to use 60-day “resting periods” on all wells throughout the delineation phase.

Vince Bevacqua, a local spokesman for Halcon, declined further comment on the production report.

Rhonda L. Reda, executive director for Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, or OOGEEP, described “resting a well” as a common engineering practice that allows a reservoir to build before production begins.

Reda also said whether the natural gas-to-oil ratio is high or low, early results of wells in eastern Ohio’s Utica Shale Play have been turning out crude, natural gas and condensates, or natural gas liquids.

“You are really getting three potential commodities,” she said. And while recent crude prices have been high and natural gas prices are currently low, that could change abruptly, Reda noted.

Halcon’s Wilson said the company will work to refine its drilling and completion techniques in an effort to drill longer laterals, lower costs and increase recoveries. Halcon’s latest well is being drilled in Jackson Township.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources reports released this week indicate that permits have been issued for 686 Utica Shale wells statewide. Of those, 335 have been drilled.

Trumbull County holds seven permits, including three permits held by Halcon, two by BP, one by Consol / CNX and one by Brammer Engineering.

Mahoning County holds 19 permits, five of those have been drilled, according to ODNR.