Shale paying big dividends in Belmont County
BARNESVILLE – The positives keep coming for Gulfport Energy’s Utica Shale operations, as the Stutzman well in southwestern Belmont County could be producing about $100,000 worth of revenue per day.
“Add in the 945 barrels of natural gas liquids at $50 per barrel, and you are talking about something well above $100,000 per day in revenue,” said Tim Carr, the Marshall Miller Professor of Energy at West Virginia University.
The Stutzman well tested at a rate of 21 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, in addition to the 945 barrels per day of ethane, propane, butane and other liquids.
“Twenty-one million cubic feet per day is very impressive. That is $63,000 per day at $3 per Mcf,” Carr said of the natural gas production per 1,000 cubic-foot unit. “If those numbers hold up for a few months, the well will certainly be profitable.”
Also, Gulfport’s Clay well – located in the area of U.S. 22 and Ohio 800, near the northern portion of Piedmont Lake in Harrison County – is producing daily averages of 747 barrels of condensate, 761 barrels of natural gas liquids and 5.9 million cubic feet of natural gas. These wells are in addition to the company’s Shugert well that has been producing about 28.5 million cubic feet of gas per day deep within the Egypt Valley area near Morristown.
Carr, with many years of experience in the natural gas industry, finds Gulfport’s different categorization for condensate and NGL somewhat unique.
“That is the hydrocarbon liquids in a very saturated natural gas that come out of solution when the pressure drops,” he said of the condensate. “I think when they are distinguishing condensate from NGLs, they are referring to pentane or what is referred to as natural gasoline.”
Gulfport notes the company drilled the Stutzman 9,020 feet vertically before turning the well horizontally for an 8,634 lateral leg.
The company hopes to have the gas flowing into a sales pipeline by June.
Eastern Ohio residents who originally signed leases with Wishgard LLC or Tri-Star Energy have seen those contracts turned over to Gulfport, while Gulfport has also signed many county landowners to their own leases. Terms of the leases can range widely depending upon when they were signed and a multitude of other factors. However, some property owners have received at least as much as $5,900 per acre, with as much as 20 percent of the production royalties.
Gulfport is also supplying gas from Belmont and Harrison County wells to the Cadiz MarkWest complex that is now up and running.
The interim refrigeration plant is the first phase of the new plant to open, with many more operations still to begin at the large facility, just off Ohio 9 south of Cadiz.
Hundreds of construction workers and pipeliners are now working at the plant, while they should continue doing so until 2014.