The Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) reported at its annual winter meeting that in 2012 more wells were permitted and completed, and the state saw a substantial increase in the amount of footage drilled.

According to the 28-page report, “Debrosse Memorial Report: 2012 Oil and Gas Activity in Ohio,” regulators with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued 1,000 drilling permits in 2012, a 45% increase from the 690 permits that were issued in 2011. Plugging permits also increased 8% during that time frame, to 619 in 2012 from 571 permits in 2011.

The report also said 625 wells were completed in 2012, a 36% increase from the 460 wells that were completed in 2011 (see Shale Daily, March 11).

Of the 1,000 permits issued by the ODNR in 2012, most of the wells — 42% — were for 424 wells targeting the Utica Shale. Another 185 wells (18%) targeted the Clinton sandstone and 133 wells (13%) were drilled into the Trenton limestone.

According to the report, November saw the highest number of wells drilled with 77, followed by September (62), July (60), June (59), October (58), January (57) and August (54). The remaining five months had less than 50 wells drilled per month, the lowest in April with 25.

The most active operator in the state, in terms of the number of wells drilled, was Chesapeake Exploration LLC, which had 158. By comparison, the most active operator had drilled only 37 wells in 2011. Oxford Oil Co. was the second-most active operator with 69 wells drilled, followed by Knox Energy Inc. (40), Enervest Operating LLC (32) and Northwood Energy Corp. (18). Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC, MFC Drilling Inc. and PDC Energy Inc. all had 11 wells drilled.

Chesapeake was also the most active operator by far in terms of footage drilled, with 1,609,781 feet. Enervest came in a distant second at 184,008 feet, followed by Oxford (127,579), Knox (97,331), Anadarko (88,702), Antero Resources Appalachian Corp. (77,289), CNX Gas Co. LLC (67,638) and Hess Ohio Developments LLC (62,763).

The deepest vertical well was a Statoil ASA well in Monroe County, which was drilled to a driller’s total depth (DTD) of 10,980 feet. The longest horizontal well was in Jefferson County, which was drilled to a DTD of 16,640 feet.

Carroll County had the most wells drilled in 2012 with 81. The localities that followed were Noble County (51), Licking County (45), Stark County (44), Knox County (40), Columbiana County (39), Monroe County (37), Jefferson County (27) and Belmont and Guernsey counties (24 each).

Carroll County also had an overwhelming lead in terms of footage drilled — 989,218 feet — in 2012. Columbiana County was in second with 285,976 feet, followed by Stark County (253,905), Jefferson County (245,109), Noble County (232,019), Harrison County (199,770), Monroe County (155,525), Licking County (130,731), Guernsey County (117,871) and Mahoning County (110,843).

Total footage drilled increased 77%, from about 1.99 million feet in 2011 to about 3.53 million feet in 2012.

The number of owners drilling wells fell 7% in 2012, from 121 in 2011 to 112. That continued a trend between 2010 and 2011, when the number of owners who drilled also fell 4%, from 126 in 2010. But the OOGA report also showed that in 2012, there were 1,134 wells that saw a change in owners, a 76% decrease from the 4,758 wells that changed owners in 2011. By comparison, 7,438 wells changed owners in 2007.

ODNR has issued an average of 1.2 horizontal drilling permits per day in the Utica/Point Pleasant shales since June 2012, according to NGI’s Shale Daily calculations, and has issued a total of 588 horizontal permits in the Utica/Point Pleasant since December 2010.

ODNR has not published production figures for 2012. In 2011, it reported that the state produced 4.85 million bbl of crude oil and 73.3 Bcf of natural gas.