Chesapeake reports first Utica well production

Chesapeake Energy Corp. produced as much as 1,425 barrels a day of oil and petroleum liquids at one of its first four wells in Ohio’s Utica Shale, which holds an estimated 5.5 billion barrels of crude.

Peak output from a well in Harrison County, Ohio, included 9.5 million cubic feet a day of natural gas, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake said today in a statement. Two other wells also yielded at least 980 barrels per day of liquids and another produced gas, it said.

Chesapeake, has leased 1.25 million acres in the Utica Shale, a formation that stretches from Tennessee into Canada. Chesapeake has said its Utica acreage, concentrated in Ohio, may be worth as much as $20 billion. It’s seeking to sign a contract with a joint venture partner by the end of the year.

Other companies that have acquired leases for Utica shale drilling include Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest energy company, as well as Hess Corp., Consol Energy Inc. and Devon Energy Corp. Closely held EnerVest Ltd. and EV Energy Partners LP, a publicly traded partnership it controls, are partners in many of Chesapeake’s Ohio wells.

The announcement came before regular trading began on U.S. markets. Chesapeake rose $1.32, or 4.8 percent, to $29 a share at 7:44 a.m. in New York. Before today, the shares had risen 6.8 percent this year.