Drill rigs in the Utica Shale formation have doubled within the past year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Energy Information Administration. The report details what residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania have noticed for some time now, less drilling, with workers moving on to Ohio. The EIA says the growth in new rigs are focused on drilling for oil, rather than natural gas. The Administration cited information from Baker Hughes, an oil field service company based in Houston, TX. Twenty-four out of 28 rigs operating in the Utica today are drilling for oil. (Those 28 rigs account for just 2 percent of active rigs in the U.S.)
With 88 rigs drilling in the Marcellus, the Utica play is still smaller. But the Marcellus has seen a decline from a year ago, down 56 rigs in the dry-gas areas of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The rig-count in the southwestern part, which produces the more profitable wet-gas, has actually increased.
Chesapeake Energy has shifted their focus to Ohio’s Utica Shale. But both Chesapeake and Devon Energy say production hasn’t met their expectations.