Drilling Down

New Permit for Columbiana as Utica Rig Count Falls

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The number of rigs drilling in Ohio’s Utica shale continued to decline last week as producers scaled back exploration programs in the face of low oil and gas prices.

The rig count dropped to 38 in the Utica during the week ended Feb. 7 compared to 40 in operation during the previous week. In early January, the rig count was as high as 53.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources last week issued 12 permits for horizontal wells, one of which is slated for Columbiana County.

Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co., the most active driller in the northern tier of the Utica, received a single permit to drill a horizontal well in Fairfield Township on the Nolker property, according to public records.

The regulatory agency last week issued eight permits to Denver-based Antero Resources. Seven of those well sites are in Monroe County, five of which are in the process of being drilled. Antero received an eighth permit to drill a horizontal well in Belmont County.

XTO Energy, a division of Exxon-Mobil Corp., received two permits for wells in Belmont and Monroe counties, while Gulfport Energy Corp. was issued a permit for a single well in Belmont County, ODNR said.

No new permits were issued last week for wells in Mahoning or Trumbull counties.

It’s also quiet in the Utica section of western Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, no new permits were issued last week for sites in Lawrence or Mercer counties.

Copyright 2015 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.