SALEM, Ohio — The number of wells waiting to be fracked outnumbered the number of permits issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources during September.
There are 57 Utica shale wells in Ohio waiting to be fracked, according to the most current report.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process commonly used in oil development. It is a technique that cracks open rock layers to free natural gas.
There were a total of 23 permits issued during September by the ODNR.
Carroll County remains a hot spot of activity, leading the number of Utica shale permits issued again.
There were five permits issued for Carroll Count sites in September: four in Loudon Township on what appears to be separate properties, and one in Harrison Township. All of the permits were issued to Chesapeake Exploration, LLC.
In Guernsey County, four permits were issued. In Center Township, one was issued to Devon Energy Production Co. Two permits were issued in Oxford Township to Hess Ohio Development, and one was issued in Spencer Township to EQT Production Company.
Single permits were issued in Belmont, Holmes, Mahoning and Monroe counties.
Gulfport Energy Corporation was issued a permit in Somerset Township in Belmont County.
The permit issued in Holmes County was issued for a site in Salt Creek Township to Devon Energy Production.
In Mahoning County, the permit was issued in Jackson Township to CNX Gas Company, LLC.
And in Monroe County, a permit was issued in Franklin Township to Hall Drilling, LLC.
Three permits were issued each in Portage and Harrison counties.
In Portage County, permits were issued in Garrettsville Township to Mountaineer Keystone LLC on the same property.
And in Harrison County, two permits were issued in Nottingham Township to Gulfport Energy Corporation and one in Franklin Township to Hess Ohio Development LLC.
Two permits were issued in both Columbiana and Coshocton counties.
In Columbiana County, there were permits issued in Center and Salem townships, both to Chesapeake Exploration, LLC.
In Coshocton County, the permits were issued to Oxford and Mill Creek townships. Both permits were issued to Devon Energy Production Co.
There are now a total of 382 permits issued in Ohio and 144 Utica shale wells drilled.
In Pennsylvania, there were a total of 198 permits issued, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. Of those, 186 were issued for new wells and 12 were issued granting permission to drill deeper.
In Westmoreland County, 17 permits were issued; Washington County, 29; Tioga, 15; Wyoming 7; Susquehanna, 28; Sullivan, 1; Potter, 1; McKean, 2; Lycoming, 31; Greene, 7; Forest, 2; Fayette, 3; Elk, 2; Clearfield, 1; Cameron, 4; Butler, 4; Bradford, 32; Beaver, 2; and Armstrong, 4.
The SPUD report, released by the Department of Environmental Protection, states there were 144 wells actually drilled during September.
SPUD, according to the definition in the oil and gas industry, means the process of beginning to drill a well.
According to the report, only seven wells drilled had permits issued to Chesapeake Exploration or Chesapeake Appalachia. Other drillers included Chevron Appalachia, LLC, Anadarko E&P Co., SWEPI LP ( a division of Shell), Atlas Resources, Range Resources, Catalyst Energy Inc. Duhring Resources Co., CNX Energy, Carrizon (Marcellus)LLC, Autumn Ridge LLC., Southwestern Energy Production Co. and a host of independent drilling companies.
Since 2005, when the Marcellus boom began, a total of 5,933 wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania. In 2012, a total of 1,043 have been drilled.
Meanwhile, the United States Geological Survey issued its first assessment of shale gas resources in the Utica shale.
The report estimates that there is 38 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered recoverable natural gas.
This may seem like a lot of natural gas, but the Utica appears to have smaller deposits than other formations.
According to the report, the Marcellus shale, which runs through a large portion of Pennsylvania and New York, is estimated to have 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
However, the Utica shale appears to have 940 million barrels of unconventional oil and 208 million barrels of unconventional natural gas liquids.
According to its website, USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources of onshore lands and offshore state waters.
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For more shale gas news, visit the Shale Gas Reporter.