Drilling Down

Ohio Utica Permit Activity Grinds to Near Halt

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – New permits for horizontal wells ground to a near halt last week as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued just three permits to two companies in the southern portion of the Utica shale.

ODNR awarded two horizontal well permits July 27 to PDC Energy Inc. to drill two wells in Wills Township in Guernsey County. The agency issued a single permit to CNX Gas LLC, a division of Consol Energy for a well in Switzerland Township in Monroe County.

To date, 1,982 horizontal well permits have been issued in Ohio’s Utica shale formation. The agency reports 1,564 wells are drilled with 927 in production.

Lower oil prices have caused energy companies to pull back from drilling programs all across the country, including even the more lucrative areas of the Utica shale.

The rig count in the Ohio section of the Utica stood at 20.

Nor were any new permits issued in western Pennsylvania’s section of the Utica for the week ended Aug. 1 – namely in Lawrence and Mercer counties — according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.