Marcellus (PA) & Utica (OH) - update through June 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest gas (and a little oil) production data from all 9105 horizontal wells in Pennsylvania and Ohio since 2010, through June. Data for West Virginia is also included, but deselected in most views, as it contains only data through Dec 2016 (use the “Basin” selection to include this state).

During each of the previous 2 years, gas production did not grow by much during the 2nd quarter, and 2017 was no exception. Still, gas production from horizontal wells was near an all-time high of close to 19 Bcf/d in June, and I expect to see it rise further in the 2nd half.

In the “Well quality” tab you’ll see that new gas wells peak at a rate of close to 10 MMcf/d in 2017, while the wells that started in 2010 are now at a production rate ~500 Mcf/d. Longer laterals, and heavier fracs, have also had a significant effect on the wells in this basin.

Since the 2nd half of 2016, drilling activity has increased in this area, resulting in a larger drilled, but uncompleted, well inventory (see the “Well status” tab).

As the “Top operators” tab shows, all leading operators are close to, or at their highest production levels in history.

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate Return” overview shows the relationship between gas production rates, and cumulative gas production, averaged for all horizontal wells that started production in a certain year.

Although Chesapeake is by far the largest producer in this area, you can see (after selecting only this operator in the “Operator” selection) that until recently its best wells started production in 2010/2011. Wells that started since the 2nd half of 2016 appear to finally beat the performance of those earlier wells.

Next week I will have new posts on the Eagle Ford and the Permian.

I’ve made again a major update to the Get the Data page. Now the “US Unlimited” data package is available. This does not only include detailed well data for 80k+ horizontal wells, but also lease and lease production data for Texas and Louisiana, and several other types of data. The idea behind this dataset is to provide detailed insight into the results of the lease allocation algorithm, which is necessary in these 2 states (production is provided by lease, not well).

A new sample dataset is available there as well, which can be freely downloaded. It addresses several issues found in the previous one.

Production data is subject to revisions. For this presentation, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
  • West Virginia Geological & Economical Survey



The above presentations have many interactive features:

  • You can click through the blocks on the top to see the slides.
  • Each slide has filters that can be set, e.g. to select individual or groups of operators. You can first click “all” to deselect all items. You have to click the “apply” button at the bottom to enforce the changes. After that, click anywhere on the presentation.
  • Tooltips are shown by just hovering the mouse over parts of the presentation.
  • You can move the map around, and zoom in/out.
  • By clicking on the legend you can highlight selected items.
  • Note that filters have to be set for each tab separately.
  • The operator who currently owns the well is designated by “operator (current)”. The operator who operated a well in a past month is designated by “operator (actual)”. This distinction is useful when the ownership of a well changed over time.
  • If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


  • Coffeeguyzz says:

    Excellent presentation, as always.
    I appreciate your work and hope that it is proving a worthwhile venture for you.
    Regarding the ranking of Inflection Energy as numero uno with one well, you might want to check into that as they show several up there in Lycoming under two different company names, one with a “PA” moniker included.

    1. Enno says:

      Thank you Gerard. I am still very fascinated by the shale revolution, and plan to make many more insights available in the future.

      > Regarding the ranking of Inflection Energy as numero uno with one well, you might want to check into that as they show several up there in Lycoming under two different company names, one with a “PA” moniker included.

      I will update this before the next post. Gracias!

      1. Mike Shellman says:

        Howdy from S. Texas, Enno, Very respectfully, sir, its NOT a revolution. It is simply the combination of two very old oilfield procedures, horizontal laterals and stage frac’ing, used to exploit resource beds that we knew existed in our producing basins for decades. Like other plays/booms in the history of the oil industry, this shale thing is a phenomena, little else. This particular phenomena was born and grew to adolescence during a time of the highest sustained oil prices in history. And a time of cheap stimulus money. Now prices are half of what they were and the FED is tightening money supply.

        I am fascinated by the increase in well productivity in all three of the major shale basins, as I know you are, and others. Productivity, however, is not the same as profitability and longer laterals and these enormous frac’s cost more money. A couple of quarters of slightly higher non-GAPP reported profits is not an indication that things are improving significantly financially. Debt is still eating the shale industry from the inside out. Well economics, corporate earnings, shareholder equity, the overall financial condition of the company and how it is going to manage (pay back) its long term debt…matter, in my opinion, MORE than individual well productivity.

        It is clear to me that many American’s are almost spellbound by the shale phenomena and investing in shale E&P’s is a nice way to eek out tiny portfolio yields. They can sit at a computer all day long and amerce themselves in information about individual wells, etc., and I trust find your amazing work valuable to them.

        Personally I am interested in the long term energy future of my country and the role that shale oil and shale gas will play in that. Unless the shale industry finds a way to maintain its current productivity levels, at half the well costs, and pay back all of its debt, its not going to make it. A handful of the biggest might, that’s all.

        Thank you for your great work, Enno. It is very important. I would imagine that there are producing countries all over the world, from OPEC to Russia, that have discovered your work and that are using it precipitously for insight into America’s shale phenomena. I wonder what they think. Anyway, let me know anytime how I can help.

        Mike Shellman

  • nuassembly says:

    Amazing how Enno’s website has set a big data example in E&P!
    Glad that Enno mentioned CHK’s performances in the Marcellus area and I am also surprised to see:
    1. Many of CHK’s older wells (before 2013) could still be producing over 1MMCFPD now, and making them already passing 6BCF accumated production and looks like 9BCF is not that hard. Are these just super sweetspot wells, or actually refracking helps the flattening tail as well?
    2. Coffeguyzz mentioned CHK has some super wells lately, but in fact some of the 1st quarter 2016 wells perform quite miserably after a good first year start compared to the older wells. Are the wells out of the 2010-2012 sweetspot area? I assume that the newer wells have super fracking and longer laterals and should start higher and last longer.

    1. Coffeeguyzz says:

      … Quick PS on Chesapeake’s recent McGavin 6 well in Wyoming county …
      Flowed 55 MMcfd first 30 day IP on restricted choke.
      Probably highest producing unconventional well of all time.

    2. Coffeeguyzz says:

      Couple of data points …
      The difference in wells in northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA) is very different from Southwest PA (SWPA), Ohio’s wet and dry Utica, and the West Virginia wells now targeting both formations, although mostly Marcellus.
      Selecting Chesapeake in Bradford, Wyoming, Sullivan and Suswuehannah counties gives the driest, highest volume results.

      These operators have continuously choked back their production making decline curve projections highly problematic.
      Example, one randomly selected Chesapeake well, the Alvarez BRA 1, 24 full months online, has monthly production ranging from 9 MMcfd to 15 MMcfd (rounded) with months #21 and 22 being the highest output.
      Go figger.
      And that is not uncommon throughout the entire AB.

  • nuassembly says:

    the other kinda obvious phenomena — both Marcellus and Haynesvilles wells over 5 years are showing flattening production curve with much smalller decline. Marcellus is settling at 500~>1,000MCFPD while Haynesville is flatterning at 500~800MCFPD; even EF gas seems to hold steady at 100~150MCFPD. Is this kinda common place for shale gas wells, i.e. after 5-6 years, the production curve will have a much slower decline?
    If so, it’s not impossible that after 30 years for Haynesville wells to have EUR close to 5BCF while Marcellus could certainly hit well over 6BCF on average.

    1. Coffeeguyzz says:

      Using Enno’s data, there are 130 wells with over 10 Bcf cum.
      1,300 have already produced over 5 Bcf.
      Although Ohio has about 1,600 producers, a high percentage has targeted wet/condensate areas with relatively low gas cum numbers.
      Using a figure of about 8,000 wells, having way over 1,000 already above 5 Bcf cum, one would think the ultimate EUR would be much higher for a far bigger number of wells.

      Too time consuming to elaborate on the expanse of the AB, but sweet spot saturation is decades away.
      The Upper Devonian formations, especially the Genesee in SWPA, has recently been showing near Marcellus-like production numbers.
      Tioga and Potter counties are starting to show exceptionally strong, consistent output from the Utica.
      Anyone not measuring this area’s lifespan in centuries – yes, centuries – has not been following what’s going on.

      1. nuassembly says:


        Thanks for your always upbeating comments and advices!
        It’s obvious now that a good portion of Marcellus wells have a “b” close or higher than 1 after first 1 or 2 years fall.
        I am sure there are some wells with names like “Art b=0.4 or 0.5” . ^_^ as well.

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