Utica and Marcellus shale: Oil and gas drilling permits inch higher

Belmont County, Ohio, and Washington County, Pennsylvania, home to most permitting activity

(Farm and Dairy file photo)

SALEM, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued 27 oil and gas well permits in September and another 34 permits in October, showing a slight increase from the 27 permits issued in August, and 19 in July.

In Carroll County, which leads the state in the number of producing wells at 430, there were no new permits to drill issued in September or October, and only one permit was issued in August. In Harrison County, where there are now 275 wells in production, there have been no new permits issued for drilling since April 2016.

Belmont County

Permitting activity continues to be strong in Belmont County. There were nine permits granted in September and another 22 in October.

Rice Drilling received four permits in September for two wells in Goshen Township and another two wells in Smith Township,and commenced drilling on three of the wells. In October, Rice Drilling received 13 permits for drilling, all in Smith Township. Drilling began on three wells.

Ohio Utical Shale Producing Wells
Ohio’s producing wells, as of Oct. 29, 2016. Click on image for larger version.

Ascent Resources Utica received three permits in September, all for wells in Colerain Township. The company received another two permits in October, one in Colerain and one in Wheeling townships.

XTO Energy received two drilling permits in September for the Schnegg Unit in York Township.

Gulfport Energy Corporation received seven permits to drill in October, four in Richland Township and three in Somerset Township.

Since the shale play was discovered, there have been 384 drilling permits issued in Belmont County. Of those, 62 have been drilled but have not been put into production, and another 202 are producing wells.

Monroe County

The ODNR issued 11 drilling permits in September and three in October in Monroe County.

Gulfport Energy Corporation received seven of the September permits, three for the Claugus well sites in Center Township, and four for the Potter sites, also in Center Township. Drilling commenced on all but one of the wells.

CNX Gas Company received four permits in September, all for the Frances Kinzy well sites in Switzerland Township. In October, CNX Gas Company received three additional permits for drilling on Kinzy leases in Switzerland Township.

To date, there have been 264 total permits issued in Monroe County. Of those, 137 are in production, with another 42 wells drilled, but not producing.

Noble County

There were four permits issued in Noble County in September, all to Antero Resources Corporation for sites in Beaver Township. Drilling is underway on all units. Antero received another three permits in October for drilling on the Wehr units in Beaver Township, and started drilling on two of the sites.

Since the ODNR started issuing permits, there have been 116 wells put into production in Noble County.

Guernsey County

Ascent Resources Utica received a single drilling permit in September for a well in Londonderry Township, and got underway with drilling there.

Carrizo Oil and Gas received six permits in October for well sites in Richland Township, three on the Rector site and three leased from Mohorovich. All six have been drilled, as of Oct. 29.

There are currently 118 producing wells in the county.

Jefferson County

Chesapeake Exploration received two drilling permits in September in Jefferson County. One was for the Williamson well in Salem Township and the second for the McCoy well in Springfield Township. According to the ODNR data, Chesapeake had started drilling at the Salem Township site.

As of Oct. 29, there are now 29 producing wells in Jefferson County, with another 22 wells that have been drilled but are not on line.

State totals

Ohio now has 1,412 wells in production in the Utica or Point Pleasant shale plays, with another 421 wells either in the process of being drilled, or have been drilled and are waiting to go into production. A total of 2,287 permits have been issued, to date, for horizontal well drilling in Ohio.

There have been no drilling permits issued in Ohio’s Marcellus Shale in 2016, and only one was issued in 2015, to a well now in production in Monroe County’s Switzerland Township.

Pennsylvania update

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued 189 unconventional oil/gas well drilling permits in September and October, 95 in September and 94 in October. Of those 189, 21 were issued to drill an existing well deeper.

In western Pennsylvania, there was one permit issued to Exco Resources in Armstrong County for a site on the Claypoole unit in West Franklin Township.

There were six permits issued in September and October in Beaver County. Range Resources Appalachia renewed one for a site on the McMichael lease in Independence Township. PennEnergy Resources renewed four permits to drill or drill deeper on multiple legs of a well in New Sewickley Township, and received one new permit, also in New Sewickley Township.

Butler County

Of the 26 permits issued in Butler County, XTO Energy Inc. received three new drilling permits at the AK Steel unit in Butler Township, a new drilling permit on the Isaacs unit in Center Township, renewed a permit on the Boyle unit in Clearfield Township, renewed its permit on the Rutledge unit in Forward Township,

PennEnergy Resources renewed a permit to drill in Clearfield Township and renewed three permits in Clinton Township. The company also received two new permits and renewed three permits in Jefferson Township, and received a new well permit in Winfield Township.

Range Resources Appalachia received three new permits for wells on the John Allen unit in Clinton Township.

RE Gas Development received three new permits on the Mackrell unit in Donegal Township; two permits on the Frye unit in Oakland Township; and two permits on the Schneider unit in Washington Township.

In Clarion County, one permit was issued to Northeast Natural Energy for the Radaker lease in Madison Township.

Greene County

Of the 18 permits issued in Greene County, three were issued in Center Township. One went to EQT Production for the Olczak unit, and two new permits went to Vantage Energy Appalachia II for the Wiley units.

In Greene Township, Chevron Appalachia received six new permits. EQT Production received a permit for the Christen lease in Morgan Township, and Rice Drilling received a new permit to drill in Springhill Township.

EQT Production received seven new permits to drill in Washington Township, six of those on the Harris unit.

Hilcorp Energy received a renewed permit for its unit in North Beaver Township in Lawrence County.

Washington County

There were 43 permits issued in September and October in Washington County. EQT received a new permit for the Cogar unit in Amwell Township; 12 permits for the Ealy leases in East Finley Township; a new permit on the Koci lease in West Bethlehem Township.

Range Resources Appalachia received two new permits for the Harmon Creek units in Hanover Township, and two new permits for the Terry Walasik units in Jefferson Township. Range also received two new permits for the Robinson Campbell units in Robinson Township; four permits for the John Mocek leases in Smith Township; and five permits on the John Marchezak units in Somerset Township.

Range Resources Appalachia also received a new permit on the William Munce lease in South Strabane Township.

Rice Drilling received seven new permits for the Prairie Fire units in Somerset Township, and SWN Production Co. received six permits (five renewals and one new) in West Finley Township.

Two permits were issued in Westmoreland County to Apex Energy for sites in Salem Township.

Outside of western Pa., other key counties with oil and gas production include Bradford, which received 12 new permits for drilling during September and October; Susquehanna, which received 30 total permits; and Tioga, where 16 permits were issued.


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