Drilling Down

Rig Count Slips to 14 in Ohio’s Utica

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The number of rigs operating across Ohio’s Utica shale dropped to 14 during the week ended Jan. 26, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The rig count during the previous week stood at 16, according to ODNR.

Last week, the agency issued 10 permits for horizontal wells across the Utica, all of them to Ascent Resources Utica LLC of Oklahoma City. Ascent secured eight permits for Guernsey County and two permits for new wells in Jefferson County.

As of Jan. 26, ODNR has issued 2,992 horizontal well permits in the Utica. Agency data show that 2,517 of these wells are drilled and 2,138 wells are in production across the state.

The majority of these wells are in the southern portion of the play, where geological pressure is more pronounced and the wells generally more productive.

There have been no new permits issued in the northern tier of the Utica play – that is, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties – since July. The last permit awarded in the northern region was on July 24, when Hilcorp Energy Co. secured two permits to drill horizontal wells in Fairfield Township in Columbiana County.

Nor were there any new permits issued in nearby Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.