Drilling Down

Utica Rig Count Bumps Up, ODNR Reports

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The rig count in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale rose during the week ended May 2 compared to the previous week, breaking a succession of steady declines.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reports the rig count in the Utica increased to 29 during the week compared to 22 a week earlier.

Still, permit activity for new horizontal wells remains relatively weak compared to permits issued earlier this year. ODNR awarded eight new horizontal well permits last week, all of them in the southern tier of the play.

American Energy Utica LLC received four permits to drill new wells in Belmont County. Eclipse Resources received two permits to drill in Monroe County. And XTO Energy Inc. and Chesapeake Exploration LLC received one permit each to drill wells in Belmont County.

No new permits were issued for Columbiana, Mahoning, or Trumbull counties.

To date, the Ohio portion of Utica has 861 producing horizontal wells.

In western Pennsylvania, Hilcorp Energy Co. was awarded five new permits for horizontal wells in Lawrence County, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reports. The wells are slated for the Topper property in Pulaski Township, just over the Mahoning County line.

No horizontal well permits were issued last week to oil and gas exploration companies in Mercer County, DEP reported.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.