Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK), Devon Energy Corp (DVN): Why Science Will Be the Key to Unlocking the Utica’s Potential

Page 1 of 2

Last year was not the year Utica producers were hoping to have. What was once viewed as America’s next great oil play only turned in a trickle of oil production in 2012. In fact, the 87 wells drilled by 11 different companies produced just 1,750 barrels of oil per day last year, or about 635,900 barrels of oil in totality. For perspective, the Bakken produced 674,621 barrels of oil per day in January. Suffice it to say, the Utica has a long way to go.

This is why several of the play’s producers, including Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) and EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) , are coming together on a joint industry project to gain better insight into the play. The project, which is expected to last at least a year, will help the companies gain a better fundamental understanding of what rock properties are the most important for good wells. The hope is that the project will enable producers to better target the play in order to earn a return.

Source: Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK)

Because of the lackluster returns so far, major oil and gas producers like Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) and Devon Energy Corp (NYSE:DVN) have announced plans to reduce operations in the play. Devon Energy Corp (NYSE:DVN), which is completely exiting the play, really had a rough year, as most of the wells it drilled were not economical. One of the issues is the oil accumulations located in the shale were in areas that lacked the pressure necessary to force the oil out of the shale. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), on the other hand, is selling what is no longer core acreage in order to shore up its balance sheet.

Because of this, the play is a lot more gassy than originally thought, and with natural gas prices still low, it is not helping producers that had turned to the Utica for higher margin liquids. The hope is that the joint industry project will help the industry better target the more liquids-rich gas portions of the play, which would provide higher rates of return.

So far, Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:GPOR) has had the best success rate in targeting the liquids rich part of the play. The company is spending $499 million of its $570 million capital budget this year on the Utica. Those funds will help drive the company’s production from just over 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day last year to more than 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year. This is mainly due to the fact that Gulfport has been drilling some of the best wells in the play.

Page 1 of 2
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The 10 Most Expensive Law Schools in the US

The 10 Best Wall Street Movies

The 10 Most Expensive Golf Clubs Ever Sold

The 10 Most Expensive Golf Memberships

The 10 Best Disney Characters Ever Created

The 8 Best Foods for Gaining Weight

The 10 Most Expensive Colleges in the World

The 7 Most Memorable Ad Campaigns of All Time

The 7 Most Expensive High Schools in the World

The 10 Electric Vehicles with the Longest Range

The 10 Cities with the Worst Drivers in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Dresses Ever Created

10 Islands to Visit Before You Die

10 Famous Celebrities Who Needed Rehab

The 15 Countries with the Largest Oil Reserves

The 10 Most Overused Excuses in the World

The 5 Best iOS Apps You Can’t Get on Android

5 Companies Damaged By Social Media Blunders

The 10 Most Legendary Blues Songs

The 10 Most Lawless Places in the World

4 Reasons China is a Threat to the US

The 17 Most Sugary Drinks in the World

The 10 Most Ruthless Rulers in History

The 10 Greatest Generals in History

Top 8 Travel Destinations for 2015

The 10 Safest Dog Breeds for Children

The 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in the US

The 7 Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings

The 10 Best LoL Teams in the World

Top 10 Worst Marketing Campaigns Ever Produced

Top 5 Diets that Help You Lose Weight

The 10 Best Ways to Stay Awake

7 Artists That Switched Musical Genres

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in New Jersey

The 10 Best High Schools in New York

The 10 Countries With the Least Gender Inequality

The 6 Biggest Musician-Manager Feuds

The 10 Countries with the Cheapest Gas Prices

The 7 Most Theatrical Bands of All Time

The 8 Worst Band Breakups of All Time

The 10 Most Important South American Leaders

The 7 Most Successful Casting Show Winners

The 10 Most Peaceful Countries in the World

5 Big Reasons Communism Failed

The 15 Most Famous Carl Icahn Quotes

10 Scary Animals that are Actually Harmless

The 8 Most Famous Singer-Actors in Entertainment

The 10 Longest Wars of All Time

The 13 Worst Looking Foods that Taste Great

The 6 Most Gruesome Injuries Suffered During a Sports Match

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!