Utica Shale Permitting Crosses the Century Mark in Six Ohio Counties
Ohio has issued 1,312 Utica Shale permits since 2011. Continued development has led to a decline in unemployment throughout the shale producing counties, with sales tax revenues continuing to increase. Oil and gas related investment has reached over $18 billion and is growing throughout the entire state. It’s clear that the Utica is transitioning from the exploration phase to the development phase.
Today, there are 904 wells developed with 467 of those connected to pipelines and in production. Of the more than 1,300 permits, there are seven counties where the majority of development is taking place, with six counties now over the 100 permit mark. Chesapeake Energy remains the clear leader in terms of development with 652 permits, but as activity continues, many other companies are shifting more of their focus to the Utica.
Carroll County continues to lead Ohio in Utica Shale development — with no stopping in sight. Carroll has 408 permits dedicated to the county, with 323 wells developed with 223 producing Utica wells. Chesapeake and Rex Energy also continue to have great success in the county and remain committed to keeping Carroll County the number one permitted county in the Utica.
Harrison County has 234 permits allotted for the county. There have been 111 wells developed with 61 producing Utica wells in the county. There has been a lot of focus on the county since two years ago when Gulfport Energy began hitting high producing wells; since then, companies like Chesapeake, Hess, Chevron, Eclipse and American Energy Partners have begun to focus their attention on this high producing liquids-rich county. According to the fourth quarter production report, issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Harrison County represented six of the top ten oil producing wells in the state.
Noble County is one of three counties that just surpassed the 100 permit mark this month. Noble has 108 Utica permits, 59 wells developed 34 producing Utica wells in the county. The majority of the permits held in this county are by CONSOL and Antero Resources. By having high producing wells in both the wet and dry gas region of the Utica, this county will remain a strong focus for operators in the region.
Belmont County, the second of the three counties surpassing the 100 permit mark this month, has 105 Utica permits in the county. Thirty-seven wells have been developed with 23 producing and tied into pipelines. Belmont is home to three of the top ten producing natural gas producing wells in the state during the fourth quarter. Gulfport, Hess, Rice and XTO Energy are also active in the county.
Guernsey County, the third county to reach the 100 permit milestone this month, has 104 Utica permits with 38 wells developed and 32 wells producing. The county is home to three of the highest producing oil wells in ODNR’s fourth quarter production report. Eclipse Resources, Gulfport, PDC, Rex Energy, American Energy Partners, EQT, Carrizo, Chesapeake, Hess are all currently active in the county.
Columbiana County, one of the earliest counties to see a lot of shale development, currently stands at 103 permits. They have now developed 57 wells with 12 producing Utica Shale wells. Chesapeake, Hilcorp and Atlas Noble are all active in the county.
Monroe County has yet to hit the 100 permit club, but it is only a matter of time until development in that county reaches that milestone, especially since Monroe is home to the top five highest producing wells in the Utica. Currently, the county has 88 Utica permits with 31 wells developed and 17 wells producing. Antero, XTO, EdgeMarc, Triad Hunter and HG Energy are all currently active in the county.
Utica Shale development is really taking shape throughout eastern Ohio. While the counties with over 100 permits are where operators are clearly focusing their attention, there are also Washington, Jefferson and Monroe counties, which are also looking very promising moving forward.
All of this activity means more Ohio jobs, increased economic opportunity and low-cost energy for families across the state.