Gulfport Producing Despite $250K Fine

Even though Gulfport Energy had to pay a $250,000 fine for “ground contamination” at some eastern Ohio Utica Shale operations recently, the driller continues pumping large quantities of natural gas.

Gulfport’s Clay 3-4H well, just west of Piedmont Lake in Harrison County, is now in production. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, this well pad was one of the seven found with contamination earlier this year.

The well reached a peak daily production rate of 2.5 million cubic feet of natural gas, along with 392 barrels of condensate and 323 barrels of natural gas liquids, such as ethane, propane and butane.

Tim Carr, the Marshall Miller professor of energy at West Virginia University, estimated that one Barnesville area Gulfport well could have been producing about $100,000 worth of revenue per day earlier this year.

Many 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 $6,000 per acre, with as much as 20 percent of the production royalties.

Paul K. Heerwagen, director of Investor Relations & Corporate Affairs for Gulfport, said the company is committed to clean and safe operations regarding the contamination.

“We did have an issue and have taken steps to rectify the situation and prevent future occurrences. There are no long-term detrimental impacts to the environment and all issues have been remediated,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Gulfport continues reporting productive wells. The Wagner 3-28H, west of New Athens, recently reached peak daily yields of 9.7 million cubic feet of natural gas, 214 barrels of condensate and 1,067 barrels of natural gas liquids.

The Lyon 3-27H well, west of Clendening Lake in Harrison County, saw daily peak production of 2 million cubic feet of natural gas, 477 barrels of condensate and 274 barrels of natural gas liquids.