Not much is certain in Ohio’s Utica shale play.
Some companies, like Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. (NYSE:MHR) and American Energy Partners, are doubling down on drilling. Others, like BP Plc (NYSE:BP) and EQT Corp. (NYSE:EQT), have suspended operations because of poor performance.
There’s a big gulf in success in the Utica that will continue until oil and gas explorers zero in on a “sweet spot” and adequate infrastructure is built, law firm Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP says in its second-quarter report on Ohio’s shale industry.
It looks like Ohio’s shale sweet spot – the most productive and lucrative part of the shale – is centered further south than originally thought, in the Belmont and Monroe County area, according to first-quarter production numbers.
But that assertion is still not ironclad. And pipelines and other infrastructure remain hamstrung, so drillers aren’t able to transport what they are pulling up as quickly as they’d like.