One U.S. State Where Natural Gas Output Is Still Going Strongby
As U.S. natural gas production slows amid cost-cutting, one U.S. state is bucking the trend.
Gas output from Ohio, home to the Utica shale formation, jumped 13 percent in August even as supplies dropped across the bulk of the U.S., including the neighboring Marcellus play in Pennsylvania. Chesapeake Energy Corp., Rice Energy Inc. and Gulfport Energy Corp. drilled most of the new wells in the state, data from Bloomberg Intelligence show.
Producers are doubling down on Ohio amid speculation that gas flows from the Utica will eventually rival output from the Marcellus, America’s biggest shale reservoir. An energy price rout earlier this year strained explorers’ balance sheets, prompting drillers to refocus their efforts on regions that yield the most fuel at the lowest cost.
Ohio accounted for about 5 percent of U.S. gas supply in August, up from less than 2 percent for the same period in 2014, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. The initial volumes of gas flowing out of wells in the Utica are climbing as operators improve well designs to extract more fuel, said Andrew Cosgrove, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. The number of wells brought online in the play has risen versus a drop of 30 percent to 40 percent in the Marcellus, he said.
“If new wells coming online in the Utica flat-line at best, you can expect to see more gains,” he said.