Ohio Utica Shale Permits Double in Last 3 Months

2xInterest in Ohio’s Utica Shale gas is booming as evidenced by the ramp up in the number of drilling permits issued. More than half of all permits issued have come in the last three months.

Interest in natural gas embedded in Ohio shale shifted from talk to action in a big way in recent months.

Of the 45 horizontal-drilling permits that have been issued for Ohio’s Utica shale formation, more than half were issued since July. It’s the latest sign of the state’s boom in oil and gas exploration.

The figures, compiled by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, show the rapid increase in the potential for the type of wells often associated with a controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

A total of 27 permits were issued from July to September.

The efforts to drill in the Utica shale are relatively recent. The first permit for a horizontal well was issued in August 2009, the only one that year. In 2010, the state issued two permits. Then came the surge in 2011, with 42 permits, bringing the total to 45.

Carroll County has the most horizontal-well permits with 15, including six since July. All of those are operated by Chesapeake Energy of Oklahoma City, a company that has quickly made a huge investment in the state.

Several other big companies have permits in other counties, including Anadarko Petroleum.*

*The Columbus Dispatch (Oct 13, 2011) – ‘Fracking’ permits booming