BP set to announce well plans

WARREN – One of the only two energy companies to drill horizontal wells in Trumbull County plans to make an announcement this morning about its future with the Utica Shale Play.

BP, which has accumulated more than 80,000 acres of mineral rights in Trumbull County, is expected to announce its outlook for drilling here. Until now, the company has remained silent on its plans, but has not drilled a new well in the county for nearly eight months.

Trumbull County’s sole other horizontal driller, Halcon Resources, last month announced it had pulled its wells from the county, with no plans to return, largely due to poor production results and lack of infrastructure to move the products to market.

BP drilled six exploratory wells in the last year, all in northern Trumbull County. Four of those wells are producing, but statistics released for the fourth quarter of 2013 released Friday by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources indicated poor results.

Officials from BP and Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry groups declined to comment Monday on this morning’s planned announcement.

According to the recently released drilling figures, seven Trumbull County wells produced 15,072 barrels of oil in Trumbull County in October, November and December last year over the course of 377 total production days, for an average of 40 barrels per day. The wells also produced 168,530 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of natural gas, for an average of 447 per day.

Overall, 352 Ohio wells, most in Carroll County, produced 1.4 million barrels of oil, or about 64 barrels per day; and 122,514 mcf, or about 1,925 mcf per day.

Trumbull wells included in the calculations included four in Northern Trumbull County operated by BP – the Lennington, Buckeye, Zerovich and Morrison – and three by Halcon, including the successful Kibler in Lordstown, coupled by others in Hartford and Vienna townships.

BP’s Lennington well in Johnston produced that company’s best local results, 1,889 barrels of oil over the course of 92 days of production. That equals just about 21 barrels per day on average. The well also produced 20,316 mcf of natural gas over that period.

By comparison, Halcon’s Kibler well far outproduced its Trumbull counterparts, turning out an average 157 barrels of oil per day, for a total of 10,235 barrels over its 65 production days in the quarter. That’s more than the output of the other six Trumbull wells combined.

The Kibler, located along Brunstetter Road in Lordstown, also produced 94,637 mcf of natural gas over the three-month period, nearly three times the 35,422 mcf put out by the other six Trumbull wells combined.

All four of BP’s wells combined generated only 4,091 barrels of oil, for an average of 18.5 barrels per day when divided by the four wells’ 221 production days.

Statewide, the highest producing oil well was the Gulfport Energy “Boy Scout” well in Harrison County at 26,095 barrels of oil during 80 days of production. The highest producing gas well was the Antero Resources’ “Gary” well in Monroe County at 1.3 million Mcf during 67 days of production.

The figures give an early glimpse into Utica Shale production; however, oil and gas industry spokesmen have been quick to caution that early results are difficult to monitor.

Compared to revised 2013 third quarter data, oil production increased by 103,982 barrels or 8 percent. Natural gas production increased by 9,491,914 mcf or 28 percent.

This is only the second time Ohio producers have been required to submit quarterly data. Effective Sept. 29, operators of horizontal shale wells in Ohio became required to submit production data quarterly. Companies must submit the data to ODNR 45 days after the end of the quarter. Previously, horizontal shale operators were required to submit production data annually.