Drilling Down

Utica Rig Count Bumps Up to 16

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The rig count in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale bumped up to 16 during the week ended Aug. 6 from 15 rigs in operation the previous week, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

During the first week of July, there were just two rigs in action across the Utica, according to ODNR.

The number of rigs drilling in the Utica is still far fewer than in January of 2015, when the oil and gas play boasted more than 50 derricks in operation.

However, several companies heartened by the recent rise in oil prices have announced they would resume their drilling programs in the Utica. Last week, Eclipse Resources based in State College, Pa., announced that it has restarted its drilling efforts in the Utica.

ODNR issued six horizontal well permits in the Utica last week — three to Ascent Resources Utica LLC for wells in Belmont County, two to Consol subsidiary CNX Gas Co. LLC for wells in Monroe County, and a single permit to Rex Energy’s R.E. Gas Development LLC for a well in Carroll County.

As of Aug. 6, ODNR has issued 2,210 horizontal well permits in the Utica, 1,767 of which are drilled. Of that number, 1,366 are in production.

There were no permits issued in Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties in the northern tier of the Utica during the week.

There were also no new Utica permits issued in neighboring Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.