Philadelphia company joins drilling boom

LISBON – A new drilling permit application for Columbiana County, the first in more than two months, was recently filed with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The permit is sought by Atlas Noble LLC to drill at the Firestone Homestead property off state Route 14 in Unity Township. This is the first permit application in the county by Atlas Noble, a Philadelphia-based company that became active in leasing local property earlier this year.

This brings to 73 the number of new drilling sites in the county permitted since mid 2010, when the shale gas boom got underway. Chesapeake Exploration remains the major player, holding permits for 61 of the 73 sites.

There are currently 82 permitted wells at these sites, of which 39 have been drilled so far. Eight of those wells are currently producing four in West Township, two in Franklin Township and one each in Knox and Hanover townships.

Following is a list of drilling sites by township: Butler, 5; Center, 5; Elkrun, 7; Fairfield, 6; Franklin, 9; Hanover, 12; Knox, 4; Madison, 2; Middleton, 5; Salem, 6; Unity, 3; Washington, 4; Wayne, 1; West, 2; and Yellow Creek, 2.