Rig Count Continues to Dip in Utica Shale Play

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The number of oil and gas rigs operating in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale stood at 25 for the week ended May 16, one less than a week earlier, according to the latest permit reports from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Low oil and natural gas prices have forced energy companies to scale back on new drilling prospects, especially in areas such as the Utica shale.

In January, more than 50 rigs were in operation across the Utica and permitting activity for horizontal wells was robust.

During the week ending May 15, ODNR issued just five permits, all of which are for wells in the middle or southern tier of the shale play, the agency reported.

Chesapeake Exploration LLC received two permits to drill new horizontal wells in Harrison County. RE Gas Development LLC was issued two permits for wells in Carroll County. And XTO Energy Inc. was awarded a single permit to drill in Belmont County.

No new permits were issued for Columbiana, Mahoning or Trumbull counties during the week, according to ODNR.

To date, 1,902 permits have been issued in the Ohio section of the Utica. Of that number, 1,484 new wells are drilled and 896 of those wells are now in production, ODNR reports.

No new permits were issued to energy companies exploring in the Utica sections of Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.