Trends Show That Utica Shale Focus is Moving to the South
From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Chesapeake Energy, the No. 1 driller in Ohio, staked out early and extensive claims in Carroll and surrounding counties: Columbiana, Portage and Stark. Today the Oklahoma-based energy giant, the No. 2 producer of natural gas in the United States, has a total of 503 permits in eastern Ohio. That’s nearly 59 percent of the statewide total.
But the interest from drillers is shifting and extending to the south in a big way: into Harrison, Belmont, Monroe, Guernsey and Noble counties. Those five counties have become the drilling hot spot in eastern Ohio.
Of Ohio’s 2013 Utica shale permits, 48.2 percent have been issued to energy companies interested in those five counties, and that is not not Chesapeake’s stronghold, according to a Beacon Journal review of state data.
Harrison County leads the way with 124 permits since 2010, followed by Noble County with 62, according to information from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management.
Belmont County has 45 permits. Monroe County has 33, and Guernsey County has 50.
Washington County — even farther south — has an additional seven permits.