Utica Rig Count, Permit Activity Improve

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The number of new horizontal well permits issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources last week in the Utica shale increased substantially from the previous week, the agency says.

ODNR reports it issued 14 permits for new oil and gas wells in Belmont, Harrison and Monroe counties during the week ended Jan. 30. These counties comprise the southern tier of the Utica, the hot spot for oil and gas prospectors.

There were no new permits issued the previous week, according to ODNR.

The rig count also improved to 17 from 14 the previous week, ODNR said.

Ascent Resources Utica LLC secured eight permits for wells in Harrison and Belmont counties, Antero Resources Corp. received four permits to drill in Monroe County, and EM Energy Ohio LLC was awarded two permits for wells in Monroe.

To date, ODNR has issued 2,119 permits in the Utica, of which 1,673 are drilled and 1,147 are in production.

There were no new permits issued for Columbiana, Mahoning or Trumbull counties in the northern tier of Ohio’s Utica play during the week.

Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reports that no new permits were issued for Lawrence or Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania.

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