Drilling Down

Ohio’s Utica Rig Count Hits High Mark for Year

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The number of oil and gas rigs operating in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale last week hit its highest mark this year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

ODNR reported that 18 rigs were operating in the Utica during the week ended Sept. 24, an increase of one since the previous week.

Rig counts have slowly risen in the Utica since the spring, according to ODNR. During the week ended May 28, just nine rigs were functioning in Ohio’s Utica, agency data show. That number has steadily increased since but is still far below the number of rigs that were operationing in the oil and gas play nearly two years ago.

In January 2015, the rig count hovered between 42 and 48 for the month, records show.

ODNR issued five new permits for horizontal wells across the Utica for the week ended Sept. 24. Ascent Resources LLC was awarded three permits for new wells in Belmont County, while Antero Resources Corp. received two permits for wells in Noble County, the agency reported.

Since 2010, ODNR has issued 2,246 horizontal permits in the Utica. Thus far, 1,800 wells have been drilled and 1,398 are producing.

No new Utica permits were issued in Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.