American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - 84

SpecialReport: Marcellus/Utica Activity
One of the story lines of Appalachian
Basin development has been the discovery
of the Utica underlying much of the Marcellus Shale play, especially in southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Fisher notes Ascent has 100,000 stacked
acres prospective to the Marcellus and
the deep Utica in West Virginia, primarily
in Wetzel County.
But most of Ascent's current focus is
on the Utica in Ohio, where the company
has several advantages, according to Fisher.
"We have 200,000 net acres in Ohio
in the southern portion of the Utica," he
points out. "The southern portion is overpressured, in some cases two times the
normal pressure, which means higher reserves and deliverability. The Utica in
Ohio exhibits exceptional reservoir quality.
It has excellent frac barriers above and
below the formation, and the rock is
brittle, so it enhances the fracture stimulation, which adds to productivity."
Fisher says he also likes the diversity
of Ascent's acreage position in Ohio,
which includes Jefferson and Belmont
counties in the dry gas window, and Harrison and Guernsey counties in the liquids-rich window. He adds that Ascent
has drilled 150 wells in the last two years
and is producing 700 million cubic feet
equivalent a day, based on gross operations.
In the dry gas window, Fisher says
Ascent is realizing estimated ultimate
recoveries of 2.4 billion cubic feet per
1,000 feet of lateral, which means 18
Bcf for a 7,500-foot lateral and as much
as 24 Bcf per well with a 10,000-foot

lateral.
"We have drilled some wells with laterals greater than 12,000 feet, but in
2017 we will average 10,000 feet," Fisher
projects.
The company lists its EUR in the liquids-rich window as 1.0 Bcfe-1.7 Bcfe
per 1,000 feet of lateral.
Fisher says he has watched with admiration, Eclipse Resource Corporation's
Purple Hayes project in Guernsey County,
in which Eclipse has drilled a lateral
longer than 18,000 feet. "You have to tip
your hat to them," he says of Eclipse.
"They have done well. We have wanted
to stay focused on capital efficiency.
Time will tell what the optimum lateral
length will be. There is risk and reward
in drilling a lateral that long, but we definitely are focused on drilling longer laterals."
Infrastructure And Markets
Another advantage to the Ohio Utica,
according to Fisher, is take-away capacity.
"We have excellent infrastructure with
take-away options to the Midwest and
Gulf Coast," he states. "We have significant
firm transportation that takes us to markets
that command premium pricing. We also
have capacity on Energy Transfer's Rover
Pipeline, which is scheduled to come on
line in mid-2017."
The Rover Pipeline will take 3 Bcf/d
of gas from the Appalachian Basin to
markets in the upper Midwest and Ontario,
as well as to the Gulf Coast.
Fisher notes also that the Utica is not
as deep in Ohio as it is in Pennsylvania
and West Virginia, which means wells

don't cost as much to drill. He says the
Utica in Ohio ranges from 8,000 feet
vertical depth to 11,000 feet across the
play, compared with 13,000 feet plus in
Pennsylvania.
"We are spending $800 per lateral
foot," he comments.
Fisher notes that natural gas liquids
prices have been hit hard across the
United States, but are improving.
"We need additional take-away (for
the liquids) and more local markets," he
emphasizes. "But there is demand coming
on in the Gulf Coast that will pull from
the Appalachian Basin, and companies
are exporting NGLs from expanded export
terminals on both the East and Gulf
coasts.
"Shell has sanctioned a cracker," he
continues. "Although that is some years
out, it is affecting the market already. It
takes time; it is a long-term process. The
key is bringing demand to the basin because the reserves here are immense."
Fisher says he is pleased that Ascent
has been able to sell its light, sweet crude
oil (48-60 degree gravity) to local refineries
with a differential to New York Mercantile
Exchange West Texas Intermediate prices
of $5 or less.
Improving Efficiency
During this period of low commodity
prices, Ascent Resources has been able
to do a number of things to reduce costs
and improve efficiency, according to
Fisher.
He says throughout the supply chain,
everyone from operators to service companies to vendors has worked hard to

Since completing its first well in summer 2014, Ascent Resources stacked acres prospective to the Marcellus and the deep Utica in
has become one of the most active drillers in the Utica Shale, West Virginia, plus 200,000 net acres in Ohio, is producing 700 mildrilling 150 wells in the past two years. Ascent, which has 100,000 lion cubic feet of gas equivalent a day.

84 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016

Contents
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - Contents
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