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EV Energy Partners, one of the Utica Shale play’s largest oil and gas producers, announced Friday that it had signed an agreement with an undisclosed buyer to sell 22,535 acres in southeast Ohio for $284.3 million.
The Utica acreage is spread across Guernsey, Harrison and Noble counties. EVEP also said it would retain royalty interests across 4,345 acres included in the sale.
The value of the sale averages $12,900 per acre in an area of the play that has been productive with wells generally producing a high gas-to-oil ratio.
EVEP has been working to sell about 100,000 acres for a year now. Several of the play’s other large producers, such as Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Devon Energy Corp., have been seeking similar divestitures with limited success.
EVEP is a subsidiary of EnerVest Ltd., which buys and manages oil and gas assets for institutional investors. Before the sale, the company owned more than 170,000 acres in the Utica. EnerVest also participates in a joint venture across 660,000 acres with Chesapeake and the French multinational oil and gas company Total S.A.
Some exploration and production companies have turned their attention to operating smaller parcels as the price of natural gas has stayed low in recent years.
EVEP continues to focus on the midstream opportunities the Utica Shale play presents, as well. Its joint venture with M3 Midstream and Access Midstream Partners, announced last month that the Utica East Ohio processing facility near Kennsington in Columbiana County was partially complete and accepting gas for processing and transport.