Carroll, Harrison and Columbiana have been the top-three counties, respectively, for drilling in the state since about 2011, but this year saw an uptick in operators that struck out farther south and southeast, where officials at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) say permitting activity has undoubtedly been on the rise.
“I guess you could say there’s been a lot more activity in the southern region; in the counties of Harrison, Belmont, Monroe, Guernsey and Noble,” said Shawn Bennett, a spokesman with the industry-outreach group Energy In Depth. “What you’re seeing is, for so long Chesapeake has been the clear leader in the Utica; they’re the ones developing Carroll County. Now others are catching up and finding out where they stand in the play.”
But even though Chesapeake holds 545 horizontal drilling permits, according to state records, the company doesn’t hold all of the Utica’s potential, said Don Fischbach, chairman of the energy group at Calfee, Halter & Griswold, a Cleveland-based law firm.
Click here to read that whole article.“I think the drilling focus has expanded, more operators are drilling their leasehold; the play isn’t moving,” he said. “People are trying to figure out where the fence line is in the south; they’re trying to figure it out in the north too. Nothing is for sure. The only thing that’s certain is Devon Energy failed on the western fringes of the play.
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