Drilling Down

Permits Slow Down in Ohio’s Utica Shale

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Just two permits for horizontal wells were issued to energy companies during the week ended Feb. 20 in Ohio’s Utica shale, as drillers continue to wrestle with depressed oil and gas prices.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reports it awarded both permits to Chesapeake Exploration LLC, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., for wells in Jefferson County.

The previous week, ODNR issued two permits for wells in the Utica, and the rig count remained unchanged at 15.

There were no new permits issued for Columbiana, Mahoning or Trumbull counties in the northern tier of the Utica. Nor were there any new Utica permits awarded to companies drilling in nearby Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania.

To date, energy companies have drilled 1,684 wells across the Utica, of which 1,236 are in production.

Oil and gas companies have pulled back on drilling operations since commodity prices started to plunge more than a year ago.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.