Drilling Down

ODNR Issued Just 5 New Well Permits Last Week

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – More evidence that new drilling prospects in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale has tempered as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued just five new permits last week for horizontal wells across the play.

Four permits were issued to American Energy – Utica LLC to drill new wells in Harrison County, Nottingham Township, ODNR reported.

American Energy – Utica last week settled its part in a lawsuit filed by Chesapeake Energy Corp. Chesapeake is suing the company’s parent, American Energy Partners LP and its founder, former Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon. The complaint alleges that McClendon used trade secrets to launch the venture and also named American Energy-Utica as a defendant.

McClendon is not an officer in the company’s Utica division. The majority owner of American Energy – Utica is the Energy & Minerals Group, which settled the dispute separately with Chesapeake.

ODNR also issued a single well permit to Protégé Energy III for a new horizontal well in Washington County.

No new permits were issued for Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties during the week ended April 18, records show. And no new permits were issued Lawrence or Mercer counties in Pennsylvania by that state’s regulatory agency.

To date, ODNR has awarded 1,877 permits for horizontal wells in the Utica. Energy companies have drilled 1,456 wells, of which 847 are now producing.

There were 24 rigs operating in Ohio’s portion of the Utica for the week ended April 18, unchanged from the previous week but down from more than 50 in January. Energy producers have scaled back oil and gas exploration nationwide because of the low prices of natural gas and oil.

MORE:
Pennsylvania’s new well permits reach lowest levels in five years

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.