I was looking at the number of permits issued in Ohio's Utica Shale for the week of Dec 14-20 (37 permits issued) and I am wondering how long operators have to drill the wells. What are the standard terms for this? I am also wondering if there are any restrictions on how long a well can be drilled but not fracked, any restrictions there?


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PA 3 years

In PA, well drilling permits are good for one year from issue date. Example, if a PA permit was issued on 12/26/14 then it would be good until 12/26/15. However, there is a thing called "drilling with due diligence" in PA that allows an operator to commence operations up to four months after a permit has expired as long as the well was spud before expiration. In Ohio, a well drilling permit is good for two years after issuance. Example, if a OH well permit was issued on 12/26/14 then it would not expire until 12/26/16. Ohio does not have that "drilling with due diligence" clause.

In regards to completing a well... There is no rule saying when or if a well must be fracked in either PA or OH. However, in PA the operator must put any well that has been drilled but not completed or hasn't produced any gas within a calendar year after the last operation has taken place. Example, if drilling operations finished 12/26/14 and the well was not completed then it must be put into inactive status by 12/26/15. Same thing with production, if the last day a well produced was 12/26/14 then it must be put into inactive status by 12/26/15.

Why would a company drill a well and not complete it ?

I ask this rhetorically. I am curious as to the responses.



This CNX well was drilled as a test well, never fracked and then converted to a disposal well.

Money dries up, pipeline isn't ready or won't be anytime soon, discovery wells, problems during drilling/isn't safe to complete... are a couple reasons why a well would never be completed

Legal challenge. Other wells in area not productive.
In Ohio permit is good for two years. That was changed here in Ohio about 2010 from one year. The permit can be renewed fairly easily and cheaply ... I believe $100. $500 for initial application plus all the expense of other required documents such as signed leases, surveying the unit and other documents that must accompany the application or be produced upon demand.

What holds your lease depends on the wording in the lease. To date I do not believe there has been legislation regarding this. Some leases building the pad, or parking a broken piece of heavy equipment is enough. Others require active drilling.

According to the ODNR Application For Permit (on their web site) which was updated 2014-04-18, it is 24 months in non-urban areas and 12 months in urban areas.


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