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Ohio shale permits push past 2,ooo

SALEM – There were 15 new horizontal drilling permits issued in the Utica/Point Pleasant shale play for the week ending Sept. 19, placing the number of permits issued in Ohio at 2,013, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

There are 1,009 wells in the production stage of the 1,591 that have been drilled.

There were five permits issued in Harrison County to Hess Ohio Development LLC, all in Cadiz Township, and four issued in Belmont County with two to XTO Energy Inc. in Pultney Township and two to Ascent Resources Utica LLC in Wheeling Township.

There were also four permits issued in Guernsey County to Ascent Resources Utica LLC in Londonderry Township and two in Noble County to Antero Resources Corp. in Wayne Township.

There are 22 rigs operating in the play compared to 21 last week.

There were 55 drilling rigs in the play as late as the third week of December 2014.

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

On Aug.31, Gulfport Energy completed a previously announced acquisition of Paloma for a total purchase price of approximately $301.9 million, including certain closing adjustments, according to a press release.

Paloma holds approximately 24,000 net non-producing acres in the core of the dry gas window of the Utica Shale, located in Belmont and Jefferson Counties, Ohio.

The acreage overlaps with a number of Gulfport’s planned units and is located in the vicinity of existing interstate pipelines with gathering and compression infrastructure already under development. Gulfport currently intends to move one rig to operate on this acreage beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015.

On Wednesday, Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. and Columbia Pipeline Partners LP (together, “Columbia”) announced a subsidiary, Columbia Gas Transmission LLC received notification that its Mountaineer XPress Project (“MXP”) was accepted into pre-filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”).

A prepared release said the approximate $2 billion MXP project will include the construction of roughly 165 miles of natural gas pipeline from Marshall County to Wayne County in West Virginia.

It will create approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet per day of firm transportation capacity from existing and new points of receipt along or near Columbia Transmission’s system, providing producers in the Marcellus and Utica shale areas new transportation options to move gas out of the capacity-constrained supply basin and into the interstate market.

Columbia said it has already begun outreach to landowners and communities in areas where MXP will be constructed.

Prior to construction, the project will undergo a comprehensive and transparent environmental review overseen by the FERC.

Throughout the review period, the MXP team will continue to work closely with landowners, local officials and communities to provide up-to-date information and ensure community involvement in the process.

Pending FERC authorization, Columbia expects to commence MXP construction in the fall of 2017 and place the project in service in the fourth quarter of 2018.

lshields@salemnews.net

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