Appalachian Basin

Gulfport is Breaking its Own Records in Utica Shale

Gulfport Energy continues to impress in the Utica as it brings on line Ohio’s largest well for the third time this year.  Following the strong results of the Wagner 1-28H in Harrison County and the Shugert 1-1H in Belmont County, the Shugert 1-12H one township west of the Shugert 1-1 H is now the top producing well in the Utica Shale.

The Shugert 1-12H had initial peak production rate of 28.5 million cubic feet (“MMCF”) per day of natural gas which was sustained for 18 hours.  The well also produced 300 barrels of condensate per day.  In addition the gas coming from the Shugert well tested at 1,204 BTU’s making it liquids rich.

Gulfport will send the gas to a Markwest processing plant and extract an additional 2,907 barrels of natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) per day assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 10%.  Taking all of this into consideration the Shugert 1-12H had an initial production of 7,482 barrels of oil equivalent (“BOE”) per day.

So how does Gulfport continue to produce such prolific wells in the Utica?  Jim Palm, CEO of Gulfport Energy, gave a little insight to how Gulfport has been so successful in the Utica at the DUG East Conference a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh.  When Gulfport first became interested in the Utica they employed the help of reservoir engineer Bill Von Gonten who helped them gain scientific understanding of the make up of the Utica

We learned some interesting things from Bill,” he said.  “Based upon some core information, Bill determined that the Eagle Ford and Point Pleasant are very similar reservoirs. You can see the porosity and permeability are very similar. One of the most important things is the calcite. These are very brittle formations, and that’s good because when the hydrocarbons are generated it’s like popping popcorn.- Jim Palm, CEO of Gulfport Energy

With Mr. Von Gonten’s help, Gulfport was able to determine short hydraulic fracturing intervals were essential to efficiently unlock the hydrocarbons out of the Utica.  Through out tedious research and simulations Gulfport and Mr. Von Gonten determined that 225 foot intervals were the most appropriate length between hydraulic fracturing stages in the Utica.

Intuitively it seemed pretty short, but he’s the scientist. That’s what he came up with, and so we decided to adopt that and it’s worked out real well.- Jim Palm CEO of Gulfport Energy

But don’t expect Gulfport to be satisfied with what they have already accomplished because they are still looking at different hydraulic fracturing intervals, completion methods and lateral lengths to increase already bountiful production.  From their third quarter earnings call, Jim Palm announced that Gulfport will be doing some more testing at their Wagner and Boy Scout wells to further refine their development.

Probably go back and drill the Boy Scout for sure. Probably, the Wagner well, too, where we have gas lines in place and hook-ups ready. And we’ll probably winter over roughly December, January, February there and drill 3 wells, eliminate the rig moose and test different frac sizes, test things like how far apart we should space the wells.- Jim Palm, CEO of Gulfport Energy

With being so early in the Utica Shale development, companies will continue to tweak and improve their development and completion methods to maximize the Utica’s true potential.  These tweaks are necessary for any new shale play and will continue to play a significant role in the growth of the Utica.  But with numbers like these happening so early in the play, the Utica looks to continue to impress not only Ohioans but the industry as a whole.

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