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The Suburbanite
  • More than 200 wells now drilled into Utica shale

  • More than 200 horizontal wells have been drilled in the Utica shale.

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  • More than 200 horizontal wells now have been drilled into the Utica shale, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources records.
    The milestone was passed sometime last week, with ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management reporting that 205 wells had been drilled. That’s up from 199 wells drilled through the last week of December.
    Of the wells drilled, 47 are listed as producing. That’s two more than last week.
    Companies also filed eight more new permits for horizontal wells into the Utica. ODNR has issued more than 500 permits for horizontal wells — 487 in the Utica and 20 in the Marcellus shale.
    Horizontal drilling is used to penetrate shale rock formations that lie deep underground. Companies have been drilling into shale formations around the country because the rock is loaded with natural gas and oil. Horizontal drilling is used to reach formations, then hydraulic fracturing is used to break the rock and release gas and oil.
    The Utica shale lies under eastern Ohio, including most of Stark County. Early drilling has shown wells are producing oil and liquid natural gases, such as ethane, propane and butane.
    Carroll County has the most permits and drilled wells. Companies have received 177 permits with 27 wells producing and 52 more being drilled. Chesapeake Energy owns 25 of  Carroll County’s producing wells and controls most of the permits.
    Harrison County also has been a hot spot for permits, with 40 issued during the second half of 2012. Companies have stepped up development in Harrison after Gulfport Energy’s “Boy Scout” well showed high oil and liquid natural gas production. Gulfport received four more well permits for the same area last week.
    Companies have received 13 permits to drill horizontal wells in Stark County. So far two wells are producing and four others have been drilled, while another well was plugged after drilling started.
    There have been 12 permits issued in Tuscarawas County. One well is producing, while two others have been drilled.