Drilling Down

ODNR Reports Show Belmont County as Utica Hot Spot

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The southern tier of eastern Ohio’s Utica shale – especially Belmont County – continues to draw attention from major energy companies as the oil and gas play’s hot spot.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources last week issued nine new permits to three exploration companies, all of them seeking to develop horizontal wells in Belmont.

According to ODNR, Ascent Resources, Chesapeake Exploration, and Rice Drilling were awarded three permits apiece for new horizontal wells in the county during the week ended Feb. 24.

There have been no new horizontal well permits issued in the Utica’s northern tier in Ohio, which encompasses Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties yet this year. The last permits issued there were in November 2017, when Chesapeake secured two permits to drill in Columbiana County, according to ODNR.

As of Feb. 24, ODNR has issued 2,765 permits in the Utica. Of that number, 2,274 wells have been drilled and 1,848 wells are producing.

No new horizontal permits were reported last week in Lawrence County or Mercer County in the northern Utica portion of western Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.