Drilling Down

Ohio’s Utica Shale Rig Count Stands at 23

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The number of rigs operating in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale stood at 23 during the week ended Nov. 18 — one less than the previous week, according to the most recent drilling update from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The rig count has remained above 20 each week through most of this year, a turnabout from 2016 when the number of working rigs bottomed out at 10 for a single week in the Utica.

ODNR also issued seven new permits for horizontal wells in the Utica for the week, all of them in the southern portion of the oil and gas play.

Oklahoma City-based Ascent Resources Utica secured four new permits for horizontal wells — three in Belmont County and one in Guernsey County — while Rice Drilling LLC, a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. was awarded two permits for wells in Belmont.

A third company, EM Energy Ohio LLC, secured a single permit for a well in Monroe County.

As of Nov. 18, ODNR has issued 2,681 permits in the Utica for horizontal wells. Of that number, 2,178 have been drilled and 1,714 wells are in production.

There were no new permits issued for the northern tier of the Utica, which includes Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Nor were there new permits issued in the northern Utica tier in western Pennsylvania, which includes Lawrence and Mercer counties, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.