HARTFORD - The second Utica shale drilling permit has been issued for Trumbull County, but don't expect to see the rig anytime soon.
Richard Hunter, vice president of Investor Relations with Carrizo Oil and Gas in Houston, said the permits for their Utica shale acreage were obtained but only as a first step in prospecting their exploration options.
"It's an indication that we have an interest in possibly drilling a well, and it's hard to read really any more into it than that," he said.
Carrizo's acreage in the Utica shale play straddles the Ohio-Pennsylvania line in Trumbull and Mercer counties. Carrizo obtained the permit for Trumbull on May 9 and learned Wednesday they received the permit for the Mercer County land.
Hunter said they have not drilled anywhere in the Utica shale play yet, but the company does have between 26 and 28 Marcellus shale wells drilled in northeast Pennsylvania.
The land in Hartford is part of the Brugler property along Hayes Orangeville Road. The land sits across from Joseph Badger Meadows church camp, and up the road from the Brugler home. The lease is in the name of Glenn Brugler.
The Brugler family owns several lots, including the 102-acre family home property, but Robert Brugler said only the double-lot along state Route 7 has a lease deal.
Robert Brugler said the land had been leased to Wichita Falls, Texas-based Cobra Oil & Gas five years ago for Clinton sandstone drilling. He said the lease was sold to Carrizo a few months ago. The Bruglers received no signing bonus, but the lease affords them 12.5 percent on any mineral production. But the wait for a windfall profit could be a long way off.
Glenn Brugler said he was told his land is an alternate option. His contact at Carrizo said the company still doesn't know what the ground will yield, and so their first well in the Utica play will be an exploratory well. Because of the cost of that, Carrizo found Trumbull County's road repair demands less agreeable than in Mercer County, he said.
As such, the exploratory well will likely be drilled in Mercer, Brugler said, and depending on what is found, his land may be the next to see a drilling rig roll in.
The 128.32 acre double-lot is currently seeded with corn.
"They told us they put it on hold so we went ahead and planted it," said Robert Brugler.
Heidi Hetzel-Evans at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Office of Oil and Gas Management said a rural permit like Carrizo's is good for two years. Hunter said Carrizo is in no hurry.
"We're merely getting our ducks in a row in order to one day think about getting a rig out there and drilling a well," he said.
Carrizo also has been in discussions with Trumbull County about a lease for land along Ridge Road in Vienna, though no permit has been issued yet for that acreage.
Another lot in Vienna was permitted for exploratory drilling in April. That lease is held by Canonsburg, Pa.-based CNX Gas, a subsidiary of CONSOL Energy. That lease is for property owned by Wollam Racing Stables, and sits along Warren Sharon Road and Warner Road.
Road construction for that site began Wednesday.