HARRISON COUNTY – The oil and gas industry’s impact on the Ohio Valley, and especially Harrison County cannot be exaggerated, even though recent figures released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) shows a drop in oil production.
County Auditor, Patrick Moore stated that Harrison Hills received $10,405,000 for the first half of this year, which was the largest check ever written to the school district in his 30 years of service. The amount was over $2 million more compared to last year’s first half total, which was a little more than $8.2 million.
Moore emphasized that that was not all oil and gas revenues but an accumulation of agricultural, residential, ad valorem, commercial and industrial money, as well. He said, based on a rough estimate that “at least” $2 million of that increase from last year to this year could be attributed to the oil and gas industry.
Moore stated that county residents prefer paying their entire year of taxes at one time, which balloons the first half figures. He said the second half figures usually decrease by around 40 percent, which he said would drop Harrison Hills’ take to a second half estimate of about $6 million for the second half.
Moore said that the $19 million take for the county’s first half was also the largest ever seen. The other $9 million he said would be distributed to Conotton Valley, Buckeye Local and a small portion to Edison Local as well. Elsewhere, the county has to provide for 15 townships, 10 villages as well as the 911 service, County Home, Sheriff’s Office and the General Fund.
The ODNR 4th Quarter report on the production of oil and gas was released last month and it shows gas production rose while oil had actually dropped some compared to 3rd quarter findings.
Comparing the 4th quarter of 2015 to last year’s same quarter, oil production dropped a whopping 43.9 percent while gas jumped 14 percent from 2015 to 2016’s 4th quarter production.
According to ODNR, 2015’s 4th quarter produced more than 6.3 million barrels of oil while last year’s same quarter produced just 3.5 million barrels. The rise in gas wasn’t as dramatic as oil’s fall showing 302,431,181 in 2015 to 345,241,751 in 2016’s 4th quarter.
For Harrison County, comparing a few major counties who have been the bigger producer of oil and gas, oil production rose from 1.1 million barrels of oil in the 3rd to 1.2. For Belmont and Carroll Counties, oil production was also down from the 3rd to the 4th quarters.
Carroll County showed a drop of a little more than 108,000 barrels of oil while Belmont County’s drop was less than Carroll’s at just under 20,000 barrels. Gas on the other hand rose dramatically in Harrison County with a total of 43.3 Mcf compared to last year’s 3rd Quarter of 29.8 Mcf.
Interestingly gas production also dropped in Carroll County from the 3rd to the 4th quarter in 2016 with 46.2 Mcf to 41.3 Mcf while Belmont rose from 139.6 in the 3rd quarter to over one million Mcf.
Both oil and gas prices rose from the 3rd to the 4th quarter of 2016. The average oil price for last year’s 4th quarter was $49.06 per barrel compared to $48.10 per barrel in the 3rd quarter. Gas went from $2.88 to $3.05 (dollars per million btu) with a dramatic jump in December of $3.59 compared to the last month of 2016’s 3rd quarter of $2.88.
When comparing the overall numbers from 2015 to 2016 oil production was down there as well while gas rose in a 43 percent rise. Oil fell a little more than 22 percent, according to ODNR.
The ODNR also reported 1,561 wells, of which 1,511 reported production with an average output in barrels of oil to be 2,392. Gas produced an average of 228,664 Mcf and average production days totaled 88.
The figures used are rough numbers based on the three-month average prices for each quarter in oil and gas. Figures used for revenues are the severance tax prices fixed by the state.