McClendon Gets 7 Permits for Utica's Southern Tier

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – American Energy Utica LLC last week secured seven permits from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to drill in the southern tier of the Utica shale as the company, led by former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, raises its profile in eastern Ohio.

American Energy, which recently secured a contract with the Utica East Ohio Buckeye system to process natural gas liquids drawn from its wells, obtained permits for four horizontal wells in Harrison County and for three horizontal wells in Guernsey County, according to ODNR.

McClendon formed American Energy Partners LP, the parent of American Energy Utica, late last year, not long after he was forced out as Chesapeake's chairman and CEO. While at Chesapeake, McClendon marshaled the first major effort to tap the Utica shale in Ohio.

Meantime, McClendon's former company was awarded six new permits for horizontal wells in Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, and Jefferson counties, the ODNR website shows. Chesapeake Energy continues to be the most prolific driller in the Utica and by far holds the most permits, most of them in Carroll County.

Chesapeake's latest well in Columbiana County is slated for the D&B Kibler farm in Hanover Township, according to ODNR.

No new permits were issued for sites in Mahoning or Trumbull counties, according to the agency.

Most oil and gas exploration in the Utica is now focused on an area that runs south of Columbiana County to Monroe and Belmont counties.

Of the 19 permits issued last week, all except the well in Columbiana County were in or south of Carroll County.

Antero Resources Corp. was issued three permits for wells in Monroe County, R.E. Gas Development LLC, a subsidiary of Rex Energy, secured two permits in Guernsey County, while Gulfport Energy Corp. was awarded one permit for a well in Belmont County.

Permitting is also light in the Mahoning Valley's neighboring counties in western Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP awarded one permit to SWEPI LP, a division of Royal Dutch Shell Corp., for a vertical well in Jackson Center, Mercer County, records show. No  new permits issued for wells in Lawrence County, Pa.

Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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