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Last week was full of Ohio shale news. On the upside, Gulfport Energy continues to be the leading E&P in Ohio with its holdings in the southeast part of the state. ODNR released its fourth quarter production results and Gulfport has five out of the ten best producing wells. All five wells were located in just two counties: Harrison and Belmont. The other five wells were located just to the south in Monroe County (drilled by Antero). Interestingly, Gulfport also has extensive holdings in Monroe County and has a 2014-2015 drilling program. 

On the downside, BP announced plans to leave the Utica. Most of BP’s holdings are in northeastern Ohio with over 80,000 acres in Trumbull county. BP is going to take over a 500 million dollar write off on these holdings. BP acquired these holdings just over two years ago and the landscape shift since then is remarkable. The believed core of the Utica has shifted over 100 miles to the south and landowners in Washington County (just south of Monroe County) are now fielding offers from E&Ps trying to jump over Gulfport and Antero. 

For the Utica, the geology is firming and the processing infrastructure is almost in place. 2014-2015 now appears to be the timeframe where the Utica starts to hit its stride.