Utica and Marcellus shale: Horizontal well permit activity still strong in Pennsylvania

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(Farm and Dairy file photo)

SALEM, Ohio — In July, as of July 23 (the latest update as of Aug. 1), the Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued 19 new drilling permits in the Utica Shale. That’s up from only 13 permits issued last month, but compares to 42 permits issued in July last year, and a boom of 80 permits in July 2013.

Six new well permits were issued in Monroe County, where there are currently 270 producing wells. Statoil USA Onshore Properties, Inc. received three permits for the Pirl South Unit in Salem Township; Gulfport Energy Corporation received a permit for the Jacobs site in Washington Township; and Eclipse Resources LP received two permits for the Moser site in Salem Township.

In July, Belmont County sites received five permits — two each in Goshen Township that were permitted to Rice Drilling, two in Colerain township permitted to Ascent Resources Utica LLC, and a well in Smith Township permitted to XTO Energy Inc. To date, the county has 168 producing horizontal wells.

Carroll County

In Carroll County, which was the hotbed of the state’s early horizontal drilling activity, three new permits were issued. The Vaughn Unit, operated by R.E. Gas Development LLC in Washington Township, received three additional permits. Drilling is already underway on one of the permits. There are 425 producing wells in Carroll County, as of July 23.

Other counties

Chesapeake Exploration LLC received four new permits in Jefferson County. Three of the permits are on the Henry Unit in Ross Township and the fourth is for the Williamson well in Salem Township. There was one site permitted in Noble County, granted to the Antero Resources Corporation on the Fuller Unit in Wayne Township.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued 100 unconventional well-drilling permits in July, down slightly from the 128 it issued in July 2015.

Washington County, in southeastern Pennsylvania, led the Keystone State in the number of new or renewal permits issued in July, at 39. The majority of those well sites — 25 — are located in North Bethlehem Township, located southeast of Washington, and are new permits all issued to Rice Drilling. Rice Drilling also received four new permits to drill in North Strabane Township, which is located southeast of Canonsburg, and nine permits to drill in South Strabane Township, east of Washington.

EQT Production received a single permit to drill in Carroll Township.

Greene County

The DEP issued 11 drilling permits in Greene County in July. Seven were issued in Center Township, and of those, six were permit renewals issued to Rice Drilling, which also renewed a permit to drill in Springhill Township. The seventh Center Township permit went to Vantage Energy Appalachia II LLC, which also received a permit to drill in Jackson Township.

EQT received one new permit to drill in Greene County’s Morgan Township, and CNX Gas Co. LLC received a permit to drill in Richhill Township.

Other counties

Also in southwestern Pa., Apex Energy received two permits to drill in Salem Township, Westmoreland County. HilCorp Energy Co. received one permit to drill in Pulaski Township in Lawrence County.

There were four permits issued in July in Allegheny County. The DEP issued three in Forward Township to EQT Production Co., including one to drill deeper. EQT Production also renewed a permit to drill in Jefferson Hills Boro.

Re Gas Development LLC received two permits to drill in Oakland Township in Butler County, and XTO Energy Inc. received a permit to drill in Jefferson Township.

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