Shale well drilling still strong in Ohio and Pa.

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SALEM, Ohio — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued 269 permits across the state for drilling and operating an unconventional well in October and November 2018.

Pennsylvania active well map
Map of active horizontal wells in Pennsylvania, as of 11/2018. (Click to enlarge)

In western Pennsylvania, there were 58 permits issued in Washington County; 31 permits issued in Greene County; 21 permits in Westmoreland County; 15 permits issued in Allegheny and Butler counties; and two permits issued in Beaver County.

In the first 11 months of this year, there have been a total of 1,687 permits issued across the commonwealth. Of those, there were 301 permits issued in Greene County.

Other top counties for drilling/operating permits in western Pennsylvania were: Washington, 282; Westmoreland County, 132; Butler, 88; Allegheny, 73; Beaver, 60; Fayette, 41; and Armstrong, 32.

Drilling also remains active in the northcentral region of Pennsylvania, where there are 5,421 active horizontal wells drilled since the beginning of 2008.

Read more: US oil and natural gas reserves at all-time high

Statewide, there are 10,817 active horizontal wells.

Ohio numbers

As of Nov. 17, there were 2,081 deep horizontal wells producing in the Utica or Point Pleasant shale plays in Ohio. Another 376 have been drilled, but are not producing at this time, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Map of producing wells in Ohio’s Utica Shale Play, as of 11/17/18. (Click to enlarge.)

Of the 36 horizontal wells drilled in the Marcellus Shale in Ohio, 23 are producing wells. Eighteen of those 23 are in Monroe County, primarily in Ohio Township. Another three are in Belmont County, and there are single wells producing in Carroll and Jefferson counties in the Marcellus play.

The ODNR issued 22 permits in the Utica/Point Pleasant shale plays in October, and 11 permits in November, as of Nov. 17.

Guernsey County. There were seven permits issued in October and 0 in November in Guernsey County. Of the October permits, six are being drilled, four on the Fineran site in Wills Township and two on the Posey site in Oxford Township. The remaining permit was also issued for a well on the Posey site. All were issued to Eclipse Resources.

Jefferson County. Ascent Resources Utica received eight new permits in Jefferson County in October, four for the Faldowski site and four on the Lori sites, all in Smithfield Township. Ascent is drilling on six of the sites.

Another permit was issued on the Lori site in Smithfield Township in November.

Monroe County. Equinor USA Onshore Properties (formerly Statoil) received two permits in October for horizontal wells in Green Township, and in November, Eclipse Resources received four permits in Switzerland Township. Three were for the Craig Miller wells, and the fourth on the Pittman site.

Harrison County. Four permits were issued in October in Harrison County’s Archer Township to Chesapeake Exploration. One of the four, all issued for the Davis Trust wells, is being drilled.

Chesapeake received another three permits in November 2018, all for the Wunnenberg wells in Cadiz Township.

Also in November, Ascent Resources Utica received three permits for the Ellen well in Moorefield Township.

Noble County. Triad Hunter LLC received a permit for drilling in Noble County’s Jefferson Township for a site dubbed “Woodchopper.”

Shale oil and gas at a glance

The companies with the most Ohio Utica shale permits, as of Nov. 17, are:

  • Chesapeake Exploration, with 886 (719 producing)
  • Ascent Resources Utica, 485 (367 producing)
  • Gulfport Energy Corporation, 406 (299 producing)
  • Antero Resources Corporation, 260 (215 producing)

Drilling interest is shifting south: Belmont County has the most total drilling permits issued since 2011, at 585, passing Carroll County, which was the state’s first boom area and has 525 drilling permits.

  • There were 54 drilling permits issued in Belmont County in 2018, compared to only five in Carroll County.
  • Monroe County, which has 418 total permits, received 45 permits in 2018.
  • Harrison County remains active, with 33 of its total 433 permits issued in 2018.
  • Guernsey County has 242 total permits, with 32 issued to date in 2018.

Utica Shale natural gas production in Ohio was more than 21 times greater in 2017 than in 2012.

Pennsylvania’s gross natural gas production, primarily from the Marcellus Shale, reached nearly 5.5 trillion cubic feet in 2017, and the state was the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer after Texas.Marcellus shale map

Pennsylvania now has 10,817 active horizontal wells drilled across the state. Washington County has the most active wells, at 1,884, followed by Susquehanna, in the northcentral region, with 1,551 active wells.

In the U.S., estimated production of natural gas from shale plays increased 9% in 2017.

The Marcellus shale play is the largest natural gas shale play in the United States by volume of reserves.

Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Pa. Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Energy Information Administration


Related articles:

Chesapeake Energy selling Utica shale interests / July 27, 2018

Shale gas production a ‘revolution’ / July 5, 2018

Ohio’s Utica shale gas production climbs in 1Q 2018 / July 11, 2018

Hess sells Utica shale interests to Ascent Resources / July 11, 2018

Region’s shale oil and gas potential untapped / June 12, 2018

Natural gas growth concentrated in Marcellus and Utica shale / January 25, 2018

Eclipse Resources to buy Pa. Utica shale leases, wells / Dec. 13, 2017



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