Utica Shale is Garnering Increased Industry Attention


The Utica Shale is generating increasing activity from exploration and production firms and is grabbing significant attention in the media. The existence of the play was originally announced by Chesapeake Energy (CHK:NYSE) during its 2Q11 earnings. On September 27, Chesapeake announced the results it had obtained from the first four wells it drilled in the play.

So far, Chesapeake has drilled a total of 12 horizontal wells in the play. Although both the dry gas and wet gas sections of the play have been productive, the company has been focusing on the wet gas area. This vicinity is more shallow and reportedly generates higher returns. Chesapeake has begun exploration and production activity in the dry gas section as well.

Wunderlich Securities has stated that the Utica shale could potentially generate as much natural gas liquid than Marcellus if not more. Several smaller firms are exploring the play, and larger companies have also noticed the opportunities that exist there.

Chesapeake Energy opened at C$23.40 and has hit a 52-week high/low of C$35.95 and C$20.97, respectively.