The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said it has issued 431 permits for drilling horizontal wells into the Utica Shale.

According to data from the ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, oil and natural gas operators have drilled 178 wells from the 431 permits issued. The agency said 36 of the drilled wells are in production as of Saturday.

Carroll County has the lion’s share of permits issued with 149. Columbiana and Harrison counties are second and third with 58 and 51 permits issued, respectively. Other counties of note include Jefferson County (31 permits issued), Guernsey (24), Monroe (18), Mahoning and Portage (14 each); Stark and Noble (13 each); and Belmont (11).

The ODNR said 24 drilling rigs are currently operating in eastern Ohio and targeting the Utica. The agency issued 12 permits during the week of Oct. 21 through 27 — six to Chesapeake Exploration LLC, two to Gulfport, two to R.E. Gas Development LLC, one to Hess Ohio Developments LLC and one to Hilcorp Energy Co. ODNR said Chesapeake has already started drilling one of the wells, Reed 28-11-2 8H, in Columbiana County’s Elk Run Township.

Meanwhile, Gulfport Energy Corp. on Wednesday announced production results from two test wells that it has drilled in the Utica. The Oklahoma City-based operator said its Ryser 1-25H well in Harrison County’s Moorefield Township, tested at a peak rate of 1,488 b/d of condensate, 5.9 MMcf/d of natural gas and 649 b/d of natural gas liquids (NGL), assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 21%, or 2,914 boe/d.

The Groh 1-12H well in Guernsey County’s Madison Township tested at a peak rate of 1,186 b/d of condensate, 2.8 MMcf/d of natural gas and 367 b/d of NGLs, assuming full ethane recovery and a gas shrink of 18%, or 1,935 boe/d.

The ODNR issued Gulfport permits for the Groh and Ryser wells on April 20 and June 6, respectively.

Earlier in October Gulfport announced that a third test well, Shugert 1-1H in Belmont County, was the best producing well to date in the Utica (see Shale Daily, Oct. 15). The Shugert well near Kirkwood Township tested for 32 hours at a maximum rate of 20 MMcf/d of natural gas, 144 b/d of condensate and 2,002 b/d of natural gas liquids. The well is expected to begin flowing to sales by early December.