ODNR Issues New OH Utica Maps, Including “Best Places to Drill”

choosing the best Last week the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) released a number of new maps. Two of them, in particular, will be of interest to MDN readers: A map which displays the location of wells permitted and/or drilled, and a map showing Total Organic Carbon (TOC)—an indicator of the “best places to drill.” Both maps are embedded below.

You may recall in the past when the TOC “best places to drill” map was updated, it resulted in a career change for the state geologist (see ODNR Announces Third Ohio State Geologist This Year). Will that happen again? Only time will tell. We assume the current state geologist has learned the lessons of the past.

The new maps were released because of the addition of over 100 new data points—data from newly drilled wells, and from seismic surveys. With every new round of data (in particular with production information) the maps get more accurate.

Should landowners in areas marked as “good” or “fair” or “poor” despair? No! We’re still a long way off from drillers knowing which areas are productive and which are not. Every well drilled helps determine it. Only about 250 Ohio Utica Shale wells have been drilled so far. There are many thousands to go.

Here’s the map showing well locations and status, updated March 5:

Here’s the map showing Total Organic Carbon (TOC), what MDN calls “the best places to drill” map, updated March 5: