Drilling Down

Utica Well Permit Activity Slows to Trickle

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – New permits issued for horizontal wells in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale continued at a much slower pace during the week ended March 28, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The agency awarded just four permits for the entire oil and gas play last week. Three permits were issued to American Energy Utica LLC for wells in Jefferson County and a single permit was issued to Antero Resources for a well in Monroe County.

To date, 1,141 horizontal wells have been drilled in the Utica and 834 of these wells are in production, ODNR reports.

The rig count, that is, the number of drilling rigs operating in the Utica at any given time, stood at 27, up from 26 a week earlier.

Low oil and gas prices have caused energy companies to pull back from the aggressive drilling schedules of a year earlier. In January, the rig count stood at 51.

No new permits were  issued last week for Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

No new permits were issued as well for sites in Lawrence and Mercer counties – the western Pennsylvania section of the Utica, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.