Chesapeake Files Application to Drill First Well in Columbiana County (Ohio) Targeting the Utica Shale

The first application for a drilling permit has been received in Columbiana County, Ohio, and it’s an application to drill in the Utica Shale with the hope of someday striking oil. This is likely the first of many applications to come, according to Ohio officials.

Chesapeake Appalachia LLC applied on May 4 for a permit to drill on property off Smith Road in Middleton Township which is part of a 230-acre drilling unit that extends southeast into St. Clair Township, crossing under the North Fork of the Little Beaver Creek, a state and nationally designated Wild and Scenic River.

According to the county recorder’s office, 2,381 new mineral rights leases have been recorded since January 2010, and the staff estimated 90 percent are to companies interested in drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale.

Mike Williams, an ODNR [Ohio Department of Natural Resources] geologist, said Chesapeake is seeking permission to drill down 8,729 feet into the Utica shale, which is believed to hold greater deposits of natural gas than in the Marcellus shale, located at about 6,000 feet.

He said Chesapeake’s test well would actually extend beyond the Utica shale to the Trenton Black River formation, which produces oil. "They’re doing this because they’re looking at potential oil production in the future," Williams said.*

*The Review (May 22, 2011) – First drilling permit application received