Drilling Down

Permitting Still Slow in Ohio’s Utica

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Permitting activity across Ohio’s Utica shale doesn’t show signs of improving anytime soon, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

ODNR awarded eight horizontal well permits to just two oil and gas producers during the week ended May 9, the agency reports. All of the permits were issued to well sites in Monroe County, in the southern tier of the Utica play.

Five of the permits were issued to American Energy Utica LLC, a subsidiary of American Energy Partners LP for wells in Washington Township. Three of the permits were awarded to Eclipse Resources for wells in Salem Township.

There were no permits issued for wells in Mahoning, Trumbull, or Columbiana counties for the week. And, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, there were no new permits issued for horizontal wells in the Mercer or Lawrence counties, on the western Pennsylvania border.

Applications for new wells in Ohio have also slowed, according to ODNR. Between April 1 and May 12, the agency received just 13 new applications for horizontal wells across the Utica.

By comparison, ODNR had received 47 applications for new horizontal well permits during the same period in 2014.

The rig count in the Utica for the week dropped to 26 from 29 a week earlier, ODNR reported. To date 1,479 wells have been drilled in the Utica, 868 of which are producing.

Oil and gas companies have scaled back their drilling operations across the country and in the Utica because of depressed oil prices.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.