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Home / Articles / News / Local NEWS /  Driller: Early reports positive for first local deep-shale well
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Sunday, October 7,2012

Driller: Early reports positive for first local deep-shale well

By Jim Phillips
Utica_Shale_Gas_Play

Photo Caption: Map of the Utica shale provided by the Ohio EPA

Early results from a newly drilled oil-and-gas well in Rome Township are still very tentative but initially look promising, one of the partners in the venture said Sunday.

"It's just starting to show some oil," reported Randy Wolfe, of R. Wolfe Oil & Gas, LLC.  "It's just starting to show us some pretty good oil right now."

The Hayes/Wolfe well was drilled into the Utica-Pt. Pleasant shale formation, which underlies much of Ohio and neighboring states to our east and northeast. 

Any reports on the performance of the Hayes-Wolfe vertical deep-shale well are being anxiously anticipated by the oil and gas industry, landowners and environmental opponents of fracking, since that performance, good or bad, will be the first substantial data point for deep-shale drilling in Athens County. If the results look good, that could greatly increase the amount of interest in drilling for oil or gas this far south in Ohio.

Wolfe and local developer James Brent Hayes are partners on the well, which they drilled on land Hayes owns near River Road.

The well will eventually use the hydraulic fracturing method, in which chemical-laced water is pumped under pressure into shale beds deep underground. The liquid fractures the shale, allowing oil and natural gas to be pumped to the surface.

Currently, however, the oil that's coming up is from the Berea sandstone that's above the Utica, Wolfe said. He added, however, that this output is still promising and suggests the Utica below may be oil-rich as well.

The drillers have also taken samples from within the Utica layer, which likewise hold out some promise that the well may be productive.

The well will not use the higher-impact horizontal drilling with fracturing, which allows drillers to send pipes out sideways to access a much wider area of the shale bed. Instead, if the drillers do decide to frack the Utica, they will employ the vertical fracking method, which goes straight down into the shale and has been in use in Ohio and elsewhere for decades.

Wolfe reported Sunday that the drilling process was complete about three weeks ago. This set the clock running for the drillers to turn in an initial report to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, on how much oil and/or gas the well is producing. The first production report is due to ODNR 60 days after the fracking procedure is complete.

In the meantime, Wolfe said, the well does seem to show promise that it may produce decent quantities of oil. He noted that initially, what comes up from a newly fracked well is mostly the fracking fluid, but that gradually this fluid has been showing more and more oil content.

He stressed, however, that it's still very early to predict with confidence that the well will produce in profitable amounts.

"We really don't have any indication as to how good it is," Wolfe said.

Initial measurements of total organic content and other indicators from the well do seem to suggest that the Utica may be richer in Athens County than a controversial state geological map last spring had led Wolfe and Hayes to expect, he said.

Numbers from the well indicating how rich in petrochemicals the shale underneath it may be appear at this point to be "two to three times higher" than what the map, released in March by Ohio's state geologist, seemed to predict.

Former state Geologist Larry Wickstrom ended up being demoted for releasing the map without properly vetting it with his superiors at ODNR, and for having too chummy a relationship with the oil-and-gas industry, among other reasons.

That map seemed to indicate that Athens County lies outside the "core play area" of the Utica-Pt. Pleasant shale formation in Ohio, and that therefore the county is unlikely to see the kind of boom in shale drilling that is currently happening in counties farther to the northeast, such as Carroll and Tuscarawas

A newly released map of the Utica shale formation by the U.S. Geological Survey, however, seems to brighten (though not confirm) the shale-drilling prospects for Athens County, and Wolfe said the early numbers being shown by the Rome Township well appear close to those being reported out of counties where drilling is in full swing.

If the Hayes/Wolfe well does produce oil and/or gas in profitable amounts, Wolfe said, he believes the data it produces may help attract bigger drilling companies to the county.

"It could possibly bring it this way a little more," he said.

Hayes and Wolfe have plans for two more vertical wells, one near the Rome Township site, and another near Athens County's northern border with Morgan County, but they have so far not filed for drilling permits with the state for those, while they await results from the first well.

One geological fact that's not in much dispute is that the Utica shale bed becomes thinner as it comes south and west. Wolfe said it remains to be seen whether than means the shale here will not be worth drilling in economic terms.

 

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President Romney has a plan to RESTORE America.


I particularly am excited about his plan for energy independence for North America by 2020.


I have researched what is going on with the VAST new reserves uncovered, made plausible by the refinements to the fracking and horizontal drilling technology developed right here in the USA by those clever Americans.... yes, Americans created this new procedure....and it has created MASSIVE new proven reserves in America and Canada.


In fact, given my own financial devastation these past few years, I am looking to this industry to be my new adventure in starting a new career.........hopefully. I'm excited...but, I don't have much resources, so must take one small step at a time....but, I have hope and a dream. I came down to Florida to buy a truck and fix it up...this is done, but now I just need to save the money for working capital to operate the truck. Also, it would be great to get a tanker truck driver job down here….there are many in Florida...but, it is difficult to do, given all the prerequisites…...long story. I feel like I am marking time….waiting to save money, get some driving experience with tanker trucks...and, of course, to get a new President… President Romney to get the ball rolling


When I came down here from up north, I hung out at the truck stop outside of Tampa, and this is where I first heard of what was going on in North Dakota, and the jobs up there. Then, I started doing my own research.


If you don't understand what a game changer these massive new reserves of oil and gas are for America, you need to start researching it....it is very exciting, and it promises to give the USA, Canada, and even Mexico a massive growth spurt due to the tremendous cost advantage we now have in our natural gas prices over Europe and Asia. This cost advantage will bring back old manufacturing from overseas we gave away to China, and promote new manufacturing from all over the world being located here in North America.


Here is a good overview:


http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/07/15/energy-revolution-2-a-post-post-american-post/


 


Synopsis: Big Picture about America having more oil than Saudi Arabia.


So dramatic are America’s finds, analysts talk of the US turning into the world’s new Saudi Arabia by 2020, with up to 15m barrels a day of liquid energy production (against the desert kingdom’s 11m b/d this year). …..Additionally, our natural gas reserves are so large that the US is likely to become a major exporter, and US domestic supplies for hydrocarbon fuels of all types appear to be safe and secure for the foreseeable future. North America as a whole has the potential to be a major exporter of fossil fuels for decades and even generations to come. ……...but since the financial crisis of 2008, fracking alone has created something like 600,000 new jobs in the United States, says the FT. Throw in more jobs in both extracting and refining the new energy wealth, and add the manufacturing and processing industries that will return to US shores to benefit from cheap, secure and abundant energy and feedstock, and it is clear that the energy revolution will be a jobs revolution. ………jobs for skilled blue collar workers. Some of these jobs, especially with overtime, will pay in the six figures ……..


Do your research about this game changer for America, and how it will be able to jump start us into the second American century.......if you think there are jobs in North Dakota, wait to see what happens al over the USA UNDER Romney and a real push for energy independence!


Look at this map of where the new reserves are:


http://www.economist.com/node/21558459


Shale gas is giving a big boost to America’s economy


 


But, understand this....obama and the politically correct leftists of the democrat party will NEVER allow this abundance of new energy to be developed.


obama and his administration have already AMPLY demonstrated this:


1) they shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill. Many of the deep drilling rigs were towed across the ocean to work foreign waters for foreign countries. Thousands of Americans lost high paying, steady jobs on the offshore oil rigs. We're talking $100,000 jobs here. The BP oil spill was simply a cover for obama and his enviro nut allies to shutter the oil industry.


Once a big offshore rig is shipped thousands of miles away....it ain't comin' back that easy....it takes months to get it across an ocean, and millions of dollars. They sure as heck won't come back with obama and his enviro-nuts in charge in obama II...the sequel. (It's even scarier than the first!)


2) they reduced permitting for drilling on federal land by 50%....more jobs gone...for no good reason except to placate the enviro-nut wing. You did notice your gasoline prices went up........of course, obama and his energy czar both stated they WANTED energy prices to go up to match what they are in Europe........which is well north of $10 per gallon.


So, were did all this new oil come from in North Dakota, you ask?....... that was ALL developed on PRIVATE land......the gov't had no way to stop it....YET...(more on this).


3) they shut down the Keystone pipeline bringing new found oil from Canada down to the refineries of Texas, where these refineries are perfectly matched to refine this heavy crude. The nixing of this pipeline had a number of effects. 100,000 jobs which Americans could have had, many of which would have paid $100,000 per year, just simply didn't happen. Also, now Canada, betrayed by the USA, is in talks to build the pipeline across Canada to the Pacific ocean, to sell this stable oil supply to.........wait for it....yep, that's right....the Chinese. (Oh, BTW, there IS still drilling in the Gulf....only its off the shore of Cuba by.....yep...you guessed it....the Chinese).


Well, there is much more, obama's war on the American coal industry, for instance....but, of course, obama and the leftist democrats are for the working man....I keep forgetting that.


Now, about that new advanced fracking technology, its really been around for many years, they just refined it, added new wrinkles such as horizontal drilling.......BUT, the obama administration is coming out with new FEDERAL regulations on it in December...........well, do you want to place any bets as to what these new gov't regulations will do to the oil and gas industry’s wildly successful efforts and results in creating vast new reserves? ....let's just put it this way....don't look for this area to be quite the bright spot it has been.


Maybe North Dakota should secede?


Or, maybe Romney will be elected....then it will be drill baby, drill....and energy independence for the USA BY 2020 !!!


 


 

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Good greif. Troll just a little harder and maybe someone will play with you.

 

 

 
 
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