Drilling Down

Permit Activity Picks Up in Utica Shale

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Permit activity for new horizontal oil and gas wells in Ohio’s Utica shale picked up last week, continuing a steady upward trend that started last month.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued 18 permits for the week ended Oct. 3, the agency reported today. The rig count in the Utica remained unchanged from the previous week at 21.

All of the permits were issued in either the central or southern portion of the shale play. Chesapeake Exploration LLC received four permits to drill in Carroll County; EM Energy Ohio was issued four permits to drill in Monroe County; Ascent Resources Utica was awarded three permits for wells in Guernsey County; Rice Drilling LLC received three permits to drill in Belmont County; CNX Gas Co. LLC was awarded two for wells in Monroe County; while XTO Energy and Gulfport Energy Corp. were each issued single permits to drill wells in Belmont County.

To date, 1,606 horizontal wells have been drilled in Ohio’s Utica and 1,018 are producing, according to ODNR.

No new permits were issued in the northern section of the Utica that includes Mahoning, Columbiana or Trumbull counties.

However, Hilcorp Energy Co. was awarded two new permits to drill in neighboring Lawrence County in western Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The Houston-based company – the most active driller in the northern tier of the Utica shale – received two permits to drill in North Beaver Township at the North Beaver NC Development pad.

No new permits were issued in Mercer County, which borders Lawrence County to the north, according to the DEP

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.