The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has released its first quarter 2019 Ohio shale wells production totals. Over the first three months of this year, Ohio’s shale wells produced 5,073,536 barrels of oil and 609,452,391 McF (609 billion cubic feet) of natural gas.
Various media outlets covering the industry have reported on these latest production numbers. Some of these articles have conflicting headlines, so in order to properly make sense of them, let’s break it down:
Any instances touting a “significant increase” or “production on the rise” is looking at a data comparison of Q1 2019 to Q1 2018. Comparing that time frame and what producers were producing an entire year previously, there was significant surges seen from 2019 production of five million barrels of oil and 609 bcf of gas, to 2018 production 3,942,251 barrels of oil and 531 bcf of natural gas.
Other outlets have reported “oil and gas production dips” or “volumes decline” which is an accurate description when comparing the data from Q1 2019 to Q4 2018. Looking at production volumes from Ohio producers ending Q4 2018, the state saw 5,810,484 barrels of oil and 664 bcf of natural gas, which is higher than the five million barrels of oil and 609 bcf of natural gas in Q1 2019.
Looking at a comparison on a quarter-by-quarter basis, natural gas production has dropped for the first time ever since ODNR has started tracking these statistics in 2012. Oil production is also experiencing a drop after climbing most of 2018, the last drop in oil production was seen ending Q4 2017 to the start of Q1 2018.
Another key element to consider when looking at the ODNR quarterly production reports is that they are reflecting information from the quarter before the current quarter. The production report that was released on May 31, 2019 is covering production results that happened in January 2019 through March 2019. The numbers seen are reflective of the cyclical commodities that are oil and natural gas. For any producers working in this industry, they have seen and experienced the ebbs and flows of the market firsthand and continue to adapt.