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Exxon Is Drilling First Ohio Utica Shale Well

Oil companies continue to acquire local land

February 7, 2012
By CASEY JUNKINS Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

OHIO VALLEY - Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy plans to drill its first Ohio Utica Shale well just south of the former Key Ridge Elementary School in Belmont County, state records show.

Public records also confirm oil giant Exxon has at least 52,334 acres leased for drilling in Belmont and Monroe counties, while competitor Chevron has several thousand acres leased in Marshall and Ohio counties.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources records show XTO has the permit to drill the Utica Shale well on a 461-acre plot in Mead Township, just south of Ohio 147.

Article Photos

Photo by Casey Junkins
West Liberty resident Jordan Hamilton pumps gasoline at a Wheeling Exxon Mobil station. The oil giant has at least 52,334 acres under lease for drilling in Belmont and Monroe counties. The company is drilling its first Ohio Utica Shale well in Belmont County.

Though XTO has some Ohio permits to drill in other areas of the state, the Belmont County well will be the company's first in the Utica Shale. Industry leaders in Ohio estimate the state's portion of the Utica Shale may contain as many as 5.6 billion barrels of oil.

Exxon - which has leased about 26,000 acres in Belmont County since October in the name of XTO - has at least 25,000 acres leased in Monroe County. The acreage further breaks down as follows:

Because of a corporate takeover last year, those who signed with Phillips are now also part of the Exxon/XTO acreage.

For some perspective, the total amount of land in Belmont County is 341,760 acres.

The leased acres are found in virtually every area of Belmont County, as the townships of Richland, Pultney, Colerain, Smith, Washington, Pease, Union, Somerset, Mead, Warren, Wheeling and Flushing contain acreage leased by Exxon/XTO.

As for California-based Chevron, records in the Ohio County Clerk's Office show the company took over about 170 individual leases from AB Resources - good for a total of 4,400 acres - including a 713-acre parcel in the West Liberty area.

Most of the acreage is in the northern and central portions of the county, primarily in the areas near West Liberty and Triadelphia.

Records in the Marshall County Clerk's office also indicate Chevron has taken over the AB Resources' operations there, though the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection still lists AB Resources as the operator for the wells.

 
 

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