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ODNR reports five new drilling permits

SALEM – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported five new horizontal drilling permits were issued in the Utica/Point Pleasant for the week ending July 25.

There were four permits issued in Monroe County, all to Gulfport Energy Corp. for Washington Township and one in Carroll County to Chesapeake Exploration LLC in Orange Township. All five wells are in the permit stage.

To date, there have been 1,980 horizontal permits issued, 1,542 wells drilled with 926 wells producing in the Utica/Point Pleasant play.

The number of rigs drilling in the play is at 20. There were 55 drilling rigs in the play as late as the third week of December.

No rigs are drilling in the Ohio Marcellus shale, according to the ODNR, where there are 44 horizontal wells permitted and 29 drilled.

As of July 4, the ODNR listed a total of 1,953 total wells drilled by 34 operators, with Chesapeake Exploration holding 782 wells, followed by Gulfport Energy with 231, and American Energy Utica LLC and Antero Resources Corp each with 161 wells.

Eclipse Resources I LP is the only other company in the triple digits in the play with 120 wells.

When the report was filed, ODNR said 912 wells were producing, 526 were drilled, and 424 were permitted, not drilled or canceled.

There were 26 drilled and inactive or shut in wells, 25 lost hole or final restoration wells, and three dry and abandoned.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, increased natural gas productivity in the Marcellus and Utica Shale is responsible for 85 percent of increased natural gas production in the United States since 2012.

Shale plays comprise 56 percent of U.S. dry natural gas production and collectively, and the Marcellus and Utica regions increased by 12.6 Bcf/d from January 2012 to June 2015, a major growth factor, the EIA said.

Oil and Gas 360 said the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) tracks total production and rig productivity in major U.S. basins, illustrating how increased efficiencies have pushed production higher.

In its second quarter earnings call transcribed on the Seeking Alpha website, Hess Oil, with holdings in the Point Pleasant-Utica play said it was leveraging “lean manufacturing techniques from the Bakken” to its joint venture operations in the Utica where net production for the second quarter average 22,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Hess operates a number of wells in Belmont, Guernsey and Harrison counties in Ohio.

“Given the adverse pricing environment for natural gas and natural gas liquids, Hess, along with our joint venture partner CONSOL, elected earlier this year to reduce drilling activity in the Utica to a single Hess-operated rig for the second half of 2015.

“Even with this reduction in activity, we are increasing our full year 2015 production forecast by 5,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to a range of 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day as a result of strong well performance and efficiency gains.”

lshields@salemnews.net

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