Drilling Down

Utica Rig Count in Eastern Ohio Hits 22

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The rig count in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale reached 22 during the week ended Oct. 1, a signal that the market in this oil and gas play is slowly on the rebound.

It’s the highest rig count yet this year in the Utica, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Eighteen horizontal rigs operated in the Ohio portion of the Utica the previous week, and the number has been as low as nine this year, according to ODNR records.

Permit activity also picked up substantially during the week versus the previous week, ODNR data show.

The regulatory agency issued 14 permits for the week ended Oct. 1, all in the southern tier of the play where the wells have proven the most productive.

Gulfport Energy Corp. secured five new permits for horizontal wells in Monroe County; CNX Gas, a division of Consol Energy Inc. received four in Monroe; Antero Resources Inc. was awarded two to drill in Noble County; Rice Drilling LLC was awarded two permits for new wells in Belmont County; and Chesapeake Exploration LLC secured a single permit to drill in Jefferson County.

To date, Ohio has issued 2,259 permits the Utica. Out of that number, energy companies have drilled 1,807 horizontal wells, 1,402 of which are in production.

No new horizontal permits were issued in the northern tier of the Utica, which includes Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, according to ODNR.

Also, no permits were issued for wells in Lawrence or Mercer counties in the western Pennsylvania section of the Utica, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.