Well Worth The Effort
WOODSFIELD – A single Monroe County Utica Shale well drilled by Antero Resources could be producing as much as $300,000 worth of revenue per day.
This estimated cash flow triples the $100,000 daily assessment Tim Carr, Marshall Miller Professor of Energy at West Virginia University, made for a Gulfport Energy well in southwestern Belmont County earlier this year.
“The well production will decline, but you are talking roughly $2 million per week in gross revenues,” said Carr. “If production holds up for even a short period of time, the well should pay out in two to three months.”
Denver-based Antero plans to spend $1.95 billion this year to frack wells and produce natural gas in Ohio’s Utica Shale and West Virginia’s Marcellus Shale. According to the company’s recent operations report, it paid an average of $11.5 million to drill and frack each of its eastern Ohio wells.
Antero has signed the village of Barnesville to a drilling contract, along with many individual landowners in the community. The deals call for Antero to pay $5,700 per acre to lease the land and 20 percent of production royalties once the gas starts pumping. The company is also paying the Barnesville Exempted Village School District more than $400,000 in lease payments for the rights to extract gas from school property.
Carr calculated the revenue produced by the Yontz 1H well – drilled north of Ohio 78 and west of Ohio 800 in Monroe County – based on the current selling prices for natural gas, oil, ethane, propane and butane multiplied by the daily production levels in Antero’s recent operations report.
According to Antero, the Yontz well reached peak daily production rates of 38.9 million cubic feet of natural gas, 3,177 barrels of natural gas liquids and 52 barrels of condensate. Carr considers the condensate just as he considers crude oil.
Additionally, Antero released the following daily peak production information for these wells, which also are in the northwestern portion of Monroe County, west of Ohio 800 and north of Ohio 78:
- Rubel 1H – 31.1 million cubic feet of natural gas, 3,391 barrels of NGL and 214 barrels of condensate
- Rubel 2H – 30.9 million cubic feet of natural gas, 3,284 barrels of NGL and 232 barrels of condensate
- Rubel 3H – 28.4 million cubic feet of natural gas, 3,003 barrels of NGL and 142 barrels of condensate
- Norman 1H – 26.1 million cubic feet of natural gas, 2,419 barrels of NGL and 45 barrels of condensate.
Although Robert W. Chase, chairman of the Department of Petroleum Engineering & Geology at Marietta College, is also impressed by these numbers, he emphasizes they are “test rates,” which do not necessarily result in a consistent revenue stream.
Chase said the size of the pipeline to which the wells are connected, as well as how much compression is placed into the line, goes a long way in determining how much revenue results. However, he refers to the Yontz well as “world class.”
“Antero has drilled one of the biggest wells in Ohio’s long history of oil and gas drilling,” Chase said.
Antero, which also maintains operations in Wetzel and Tyler counties, is building an 80-mile water pipeline system in both West Virginia and Ohio to accommodate its well sites. Antero estimates that its water pipeline system will reduce fracking costs by up to $600,000 per well. In addition to well cost savings, the company believes the water pipeline system will deliver a reliable, year-round water supply while reducing water truck traffic.
In the Marcellus Shale of Tyler County, Antero reports daily peak well production at:
- Sweeney 1H – 16.3 million cubic feet of natural gas, 1,799 barrels of NGL and 90 barrels of condensate, and
- Sweeney 2H – 17.5 million cubic feet of natural gas, 1,924 barrels of NGL and 96 barrels of condensate.
In Ohio, Antero sends much of its gas to the MarkWest Energy Seneca processing complex in Noble County, while the company sends much of its West Virginia gas for processing to a MarkWest facility in Doddridge County.