Carrizo ready for second Utica spud

Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas is getting ready to spud its second Utica shale well after the first came on as strong as any in the play up to that point.

Carrizo said in a statement that a spudder rig had arrived on site to drill the vertical top hole portion of the Brown-1H in Guernsey County, Ohio, with drilling expected to begin "shortly".

Next month, the company will bring in a larger rig to drill the horizontal section with an effective lateral of 6280 feet and 26 frac stages. The spudder and the horizontal rig will remain active for Carrizo for the rest of the year. The company expects to drill seven net wells this year.

In January, Carrizo said its initial Rector-1H well tested at a peak rate of 2816 barrels of oil equivalent per day, including condensate flows of about 1680 barrels per day.

That well was also drilled in Guernsey County with a 7890-foot lateral and 31 frac stages.

Carrizo also reported strong results from its initial multiple-bench downspacing programme in the Niobrara shale of Colorado.

The eight-well programme in the Bringelson Ranch area in Weld County averaged peak rates from each well of 1021 boepd with 89% oil.

The five B-bench wells had a peak rate of 957 boepd (89% oil) while the three A-bench wells peaked at 1127 boepd (88% oil).

One of the A-bench wells, Bringelson Ranch 6-20, had a peak 24-hour flowing rate of 1633 boepd (87% oil) - "the strongest peak rate to date from the company's Niobrara programme".

"While more production history is needed on these wells, the early results imply that there could be significant upside to our current drilling inventory," said chief executive Chip Johnson.

Global Hunter Securities analyst Mike Kelly said the Niobrara result "serves as a positive read-through to nearby operators" such as Noble Energy and Whiting Petroleum and "continues to strengthen Carrizo’s Niobrara asset, which at times gets overlooked given the company’s strong Eagle Ford and Utica positions".

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