SALEM, Ohio — Drilling is taking off in Harrison County, if the number of permits issued in March by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is any indication.
The ODNR issued 71 new permits in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio during March. As of March 31, there have been 1,186 permits issued in the state since the shale boom began, with 780 wells drilled to date.
Harrison County led the state with new permits in March, with 25 sites receiving permits for drilling into the Utica shale.
It is now second to Carroll County, its neighboring county to the north, for the total number of permits issued. There are now 211 permits issued in Harrison County for Utica shale wells.
A total of 10 permits were issued in Cadiz Township to Hess Ohio Developments LLC. in March.
Five permits were issued in Athens Township, also to Hess Ohio Developments, and another five permits were issued in Moorefield Township to American Energy Utica, LLC.
Three permits were issued to Chesapeake Exploration LLC for a drilling site in Monroe Township, while single permits were issued in German and North townships to the same company.
The ODNR issued 19 new permits for drilling in Guernsey County. Eighteen permits were issued in Millwood Township to two drillers: Eclipse Resources I and R E Gas Development LLC. One permit was issued in Wills Township to American Energy Utica, LLC.
Marion and Seneca townships in Noble County appear to be a drilling hot spot. There were 11 permits issued in the county and eight of them were issued in Marion and Seneca townships to Antero Resources Corporation.
Two permits were issued Beaver Township to Antero Resources Corporation, and a single permit was issued in Stock Township to Eclipse Resources I.
Seven permits were issued in Belmont County last month. Five of the permits were issued to Gulfport Energy Corporation in Union Township and two permits were issued to Gulfport Energy Corporation in Somerset Township.
There are a total of 89 permits issued for Belmont County by the ODNR and there are now 19 producing wells.
While ODNR still leads the state for the number of well permits issued, there were only four issued during March. Two permits were issued each in East Township and Augusta Township. All of the permits issued were to Chesapeake Exploration, LLC.
There are now 388 permits issued for the county and a total of 186 producing wells in Carroll County.
Three permits were issued in Monroe County during March. Two permits were issued in Seneca Township to Antero Resources Corporation and one permit was issued in Ohio Township to STATOIL USA Onshore Properties Inc. There are a total of 65 permits issued for Monroe County. There are 15 producing wells in the county.
Two counties, Columbiana and Jefferson County, each had one permit issued by the ODNR.
In Jefferson County, a permit was issued in Island Creek Township to Chesapeake Exploration. To date, 38 permits have been issued in Jefferson County, which is also home to 12 producing wells.
In Columbiana County, the number of permits has topped 100. The ODNR issued one permit to Chesapeake Exploration for a well in Butler Township. There are 21 producing wells in Columbiana County.
In Pennsylvania, the state Department of Environment Protection issued 279 permits issued during March.
Washington County, in southwestern Pa., led the state with 59 permits being issued for unconventional or shale gas wells.
The DEP issued 52 permits for wells in Bradford County and Greene County. Bradford County is where many attribute the Marcellus shale boom to have began several years ago.
In the Farm and Dairy reading area, the DEP issued 18 permits in Butler County; 11 in Lawrence County; eight in Beaver County; two in Mercer County; three in Allegheny County and one in Crawford county.
The DEP reports show that 130 unconventional or shale wells were drilled in Pennsylvania during March. In Susquehanna County, there were 42 wells drilled.
The DEP reported that Greene County was second with 17 wells drilled and 13 in Washington County. Butler County was also popular with the drillers, with 11 drilled in March.
Five wells were drilled in Bradford County followed by three in Lawrence County and two in Allegheny County. The others were spread across Pennsylvania.
Since Jan. 1, 2014, the DEP reports it has issued 707 unconventional shale well permits.
In Washington County, there have been 140 permits issued since the beginning of 2014. In Susquehanna and Bradford counties, the DEP has issued 135 permits each. Greene County sites have received 102 permits since the beginning of January.
Meanwhile, 49 permits have been issued for new shale wells in Butler County; 15 permits have been issued in Lawrence County; Beaver, eight; Allegheny, three; Armstrong, nine; Mercer, two; and one in Crawford County.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection also stayed busy during March with the number of permits issued for wells created by horizontal drilling or shale wells.
In Wetzel County, eight permits were issued. Two permits were issued to Gastar Exploration USA, Inc. which is being drilled on land owned by an investment company, M.B. Investments.
Four permits were issued to EQT Production Company on two different parcels of land, and two more permits were issued by the DEP to HG Energy, LLC.
All of the permits were issued for Marcellus shale wells.
In Preston County, eight permits were issued to Mountaineer Keystone for three different properties. The permits issued are for Marcellus shale wells.
In Tyler County, five permits were issued to Antero Resources Corporation for Marcellus shale wells.
Four of the permits were for the same piece of property and the single permit was issued for a separate piece of property.
Farther west in Monongalia and Marion counties, the DEP issued permits for Marcellus shale wells.
In Monongalia County, four permits were issued for the same piece of property to Northeast Natural Energy, LLC. And in Marion County, Trans Energy, Inc. received two well permits for drilling on property owned by the Consolidation Coal Company.