The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Ohio’s Utica Shall Wells experience a dropoff in production after their first few months of operation:

An analysis of Utica wells tapped in each of the first four quarters — from July 2013 through June 2014 — shows natural gas production had dropped 65 percent, said Dr. Jeffrey C. Dick, a professor and chair of the department of geology and environmental sciences at Youngstown State University and an expert on Utica Shale.

He estimated that Utica Shale production will drop 33 percent in the second year of a well’s life and another 22 percent in the third year. Decline is projected at another 17 percent in the fourth year, followed by 13 percent and 11 percent in the next two years, he said in a review that has circulated widely.

A graph of the annual declines resembles a swimming pool slide — unmistakably steep at first then gradually leveling off.

While the decline in production for Ohio’s Utica Shale wells appears steep, it compares favorably with other shale formations:

The Utica Shale production curve “is less of a drop than you might expect,” he said. It might “sound terrible, but it’s a pretty good number, actually.”

Some production curves are as high as 80 percent in the first year, so what the Utica Shale is showing is “a fairly typical curve,” he said.

Production drops of 80 percent have been found in the Haynesville Shale in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas; parts of the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas; the Bakken Shale in North Dakota; and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, Dick said.

Read the full article here.