MDN is floating a potential new feature. We’d like your feedback. Below are lists of new shale drilling permits issued for the past four weeks for each state: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Permits issued are a strong indicator of future drilling activity. Typically it is a matter of weeks to perhaps a month or two after a new permit is issued when a driller begins work on a new well. Permits are one of the best ways of predicting future drilling activity.