Rig Count Continues Its Slide in Utica Shale

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The number of rigs operating in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale continued its slide during the week ended Dec. 5, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The rig count in the Utica declined to 16, ODNR reports, down from 18 a week earlier.

ODNR issued 14 new permits for horizontal wells during the week, the agency reports.

Rice Drilling LLC, which has reported high natural gas output from its wells in Belmont County, secured permits for five new horizontal wells in Belmont. Statoil USA received four permits for new wells in Monroe County, while Chesapeake Exploration secured three new permits in Carroll County.

XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, was issued a single permit for a new well in Belmont County and Antero Resources secured one permit for a well in Monroe County.

To date, 2,095 permits have been issued for horizontal wells in the Utica. Of that number, 1,649 have been drilled and 1,119 are in production.

There were no new permits issued for Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties in the northern tier of the play.

There was, however, one permit issued to Hilcorp Energy Co. for a well in nearby Lawrence County, Pa., according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The company secured a permit for its Savaet well pad in North Beaver Township on Dec. 3, records show.

No new permits were issued in Mercer County, Pa., according to the DEP.

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