•  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Untitled Document
    Untitled Document

    USGS says Utica Shale development could require 127,500 wells

    The drilling and oilfield services industry should be pleased with the first assessment of oil and gas reserves in the Utica Shale play by the US Geological Survey, which indicates that extraction of the reserves would take approximately 110,000 wells in the gas window and another 17,500 wells in the oil window.

    To date, about 144 horizontal wells have been drilled in Ohio, which is where the richest reserves are located. By comparison, about 26,000 wells have been drilled so far in the overlying Marcellus Shale formation, which is generally considered to be about two to three years ahead of the Utica in terms of development.

    The “sweet spot” of what the USGS refers to in oil assessment lies almost entirely in Ohio and covers about 2.1 million acres in the east-central part of that Midwestern state.

    The Utica Shale contains about 38 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas, according to the report. The Utica has a mean of 940 million barrels of unconventional oil resources and a mean of 208 million barrels of unconventional natural gas liquids.

    The Utica Shale lies beneath the Marcellus Shale, and both are part of the Appalachian Basin, which is the longest-producing petroleum province in the United States. The USGS Utica assessment covers areas in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

    The Marcellus Shale, at 84 tcf of natural gas, is the largest unconventional gas basin USGS has assessed.

    “Understanding our domestic oil and gas resource potential is important, which is why we assess emerging plays like the Utica, as well as areas that have been in production for some time,” said Brenda Pierce, USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator. “Publicly available information about undiscovered oil and gas resources can aid policy makers and resource managers, and inform the debate about resource development.”

    Some shale rock formations, like the Utica and Marcellus, can be source rocks – those formations from which hydrocarbons, such as oil and gas, originate. Conventional oil and gas resources gradually migrate away from the source rock into other formations and traps, whereas continuous resources, such as shale oil and shale gas, remain trapped within the original source rock.

    These new estimates are for technically recoverable oil and gas resources, which are those quantities of oil and gas producible using currently available technology and industry practices, regardless of economic or accessibility considerations.

    This USGS assessment is an estimate of continuous oil, gas, and natural gas liquid accumulations in the Upper Ordovician Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin. The estimate of undiscovered oil ranges from 590 million barrels to 1.39 billion barrels (95% to 5% probability, respectively), natural gas ranges from 21 to 61 tcf (95% to 5% probability, respectively), and the estimate of natural gas liquids ranges from 4 to 16 million barrels (95% to 5% probability, respectively).

    USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources of onshore lands and offshore state waters. The USGS Utica Shale assessment was undertaken as part of a nationwide project assessing domestic petroleum basins using standardized methodology and protocol.

    Most Popular

    Related Articles

    WGL Midstream acquires interest in Mountain Valley Pipeline JV

    03/12/2015 Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, a joint venture between affiliates of EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy Inc., says that a subsidiary of WGL Holdings Inc., WGL Midstream, has acquired a 7% ownership intere...

    US Shale Solutions appoints Stophlet to lead operations

    03/11/2015 US Shale Solutions Inc. has added Mike Stophlet to its senior leadership team. An energy industry veteran with nearly 30 years of experience, Stophlet joins the company as executive vice president ...

    Multiple stacked plays in Anadarko Basin

    03/11/2015

    Ingenuity helping Oklahoma shift from pure natural gas plays towards liquids

    Will the Bakken boom go bust?

    03/11/2015

    North Dakota shale players feeling the squeeze from weak oil prices and safety regulations

    Armada Oil extends credit facility

    03/09/2015

    Armada Oil Inc. has renegotiated its existing credit facility with Prosperity Bank into a term loan with a maturity date of March 5, 2016.

    Lucas and Victory enter into collaboration and funding agreements

    03/04/2015 Lucas Energy Inc. has entered into a collaboration agreement and a separate funding agreement with Victory Energy Corp. These agreements represent a milestone toward completing the planned business...

    More Oil & Gas Financial Articles

    WGL Midstream acquires interest in Mountain Valley Pipeline JV

    Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, a joint venture between affiliates of EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy Inc., says that a subsidiary of WGL Holdings Inc., WGL Midstream, has acquired a 7% ownership interest in the joint venture, and that a subsidiary of Vega Energy Partners Ltd., Vega Midstream MVP LLC, has acquired a 3% interest.

    US Shale Solutions appoints Stophlet to lead operations

    Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    US Shale Solutions Inc. has added Mike Stophlet to its senior leadership team. An energy industry veteran with nearly 30 years of experience, Stophlet joins the company as executive vice president of operations.

    Multiple stacked plays in Anadarko Basin

    Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    Ingenuity helping Oklahoma shift from pure natural gas plays towards liquids

    Will the Bakken boom go bust?

    Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    North Dakota shale players feeling the squeeze from weak oil prices and safety regulations

    Armada Oil extends credit facility

    Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    Armada Oil Inc. has renegotiated its existing credit facility with Prosperity Bank into a term loan with a maturity date of March 5, 2016.

    OGFJ photo of the day


    Click to view slideshow

    Oil & Gas Jobs

    Search More Job Listings >>
    Subscribe to OGFJ