Shell has announced new discovery wells Neal and Gee within the Utica formation in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. These wells were drilled to a total measured depth of approximately 4,420 and 4,724 metres with lateral lengths of 945 metres at Gee and 1,280 metres (4,200 feet) at Neal, respectively.
These results are comparable to the best publically announced thus far in the emerging Southeast Ohio Utica dry gas play, the company has said.
Earlier this week, Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden said that the company is still very much interested in US oil and gas shales, despite the $2 billion write-down and decision to sell a significant part of its acreage. This was because it was slow to understand the potential of the shale book.
The Gee and Neal discovery wells extend the sweet spot of the Utica formation beyond Southeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, where previous discoveries have been located, and into an area where Shell holds a major leasehold position of approximately 430,000 acres. The Gee well was drilled over 100 miles to the northeast of the nearest horizontal Utica producer, and had an initial flowback rate of 11.2 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Gee has been on production for nearly one year. Shell began production of the Neal well in February, with observed peak flowback rates of 26.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
“This successful discovery is the result of solid technical work in our onshore business” said Marvin Odum, Shell’s Upstream Americas Director. “Last year, we refocused our resources plays strategy to select fewer plays with specific scale and economic characteristics to best suit our portfolio. The Appalachian basin is one of those areas, and these two high-pressure wells both exhibit exceptional reservoir quality.”
Shell is awaiting results from four additional Utica wells drilled in Tioga County, and anticipates those wells will produce later this year.