“Holy Trinity of Hydrocarbons:” Ohio Oil Production on the Rise
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently published 2023 third quarter data showing oil production in the Buckeye State shattering records. Between July 1 and September 30, 2023, Ohio producers pumped out 6,527,247 barrels of oil – dramatically outpacing third quarter 2022 production by 32 percent and adding more than 1.6 million new barrels to the supply chain.
In Columbiana County, one of the state’s fastest growing production areas, oil production levels skyrocketed from its previous record. Last quarter, the county’s 138 wells produced 352,354 barrels of oil. Compared to its previous feat of 233,390 barrels produced in the first quarter of this year, the county has upped production by a whopping 51 percent.
Speaking to the Youngstown Business Journal, Jackie Stewart of Encino Energy applauded the victory and pointed out the industry’s continued additive benefits to the local economy:
“For the Mahoning Valley, this is particularly encouraging news, as we source our production casing for our wells in Youngstown and rely on hundreds of local supply chain businesses each and every day to make it happen.”
Similarly, in Guernsey County, oil production dramatically increased to 2,239,736 barrels over the 87-day period, compared to 1,576,209 during the same time last year. Harrison County also showed oil production levels increased slightly from 1,214,475 in 2022 to 1,219,869 barrels this quarter.
Ohio’s skyrocketing oil production levels represents an exciting renewed trend and understanding for Ohio and the Utica Shale: not only does the state offer plentiful natural gas and natural gas liquids, but it is ripe for oil extraction and value. Rob Brundrett, the president of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association, emphasized Ohio’s “holy trinity of hydrocarbons” when speaking at the Hart Energy DUG Appalachia conference:
“We’ve got oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil. So we have them all right here in the Utica and the state of Ohio.”
This is a fact of which operators are taking notice. Earlier this year, EOG Resources announced its new investment in Ohio’s hydrocarbons stating that the “Ohio Utica Combo play improves quality of premium inventory.” Ezra Yacob, chairman and CEO of EOG Resources said:
“When you take the blinders off and you come with a different perspective from different basins, it’s amazing the things that you can uncover…”
To supplement Ohio’s burgeoning oil play, natural gas production levels remained steady at over 547,039,311 thousand cubic feet (Mcf). Guernsey County also continued increasing natural gas production: in the third quarter of 2023, it produced 18,186,400 Mcf, up from 16,066,977 Mcf in 2022, while Harrison County produced 71,306,952 Mcf of natural gas.
OOGA’s Brundrett highlighted how Ohio producers have found a way to “crack that code” of the Utica and predicted more investment coming to the state:
“I think we’ve all learned a ton over the last decade on how best to drill and how best to finish these wells to get the … maximum for your investment…We’ve found a way to kind of crack that code and really maybe extract the maximum benefits that we can from the ground in Ohio, which is really, really exciting. And we’re probably going to see, obviously, a lot more investment in Ohio based on these results.”
Since the beginning of the Shale Revolution, investment from oil and natural gas has brought in over $100 billion to the state – critical money that helps boost economic development in the state. Brundrett emphasized:
“I can’t again overstate the importance of that kind of infrastructure and that kind of investment in really one of the poorest regions in our state.”
Bottom line: Traditionally thought of as a natural gas state, Ohio is making big moves and becoming a sought-after oil play. Record production levels show that the Utica has much to offer: oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids – all of which are critical to modern life and society while helping to boost Ohio’s economic outlook.