The Utica Shale
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (or EIA), the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio has become one of the fastest growing gas-producing regions in the United States. In its Drilling Productivity Report (or DPR) released on May 11, 2015, the EIA estimates that in April, Utica Shale gas production reached 2.38 billion cubic feet per day (or bcf/d). This is 4.0% more than production in March and 168% higher than a year ago.
In the past eight years, natural gas production at the Utica Shale increased more than 14 times.
Major energy producers in the Utica Shale include EQT Corporation (EQT), CONSOL Energy (CNX), and Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. (CRZO). CONSOL Energy is 0.74% of the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE). CONSOL Energy is also 0.04% of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
Rigs decreased in April
According to Baker Hughes, there are currently 14 rigs operating in the Utica Shale. In comparison, 23 rigs were in operation there a year ago.
Natural gas production per rig
Drilling productivity has increased phenomenally in the Utica Shale. From April 2007 to April 2015, natural gas production per rig increased to 6.1 million cubic feet per day (or MMcf/d) from 0.1 MMcf/d, an increase of 47 times. In the past 12 months to April 2015, gas production per rig at the Utica Shale has increased 108%.