Halcon well permit renewal is promising

A request by Halcon Resources that the state renew its drilling permit for a new well in Warren Township should be viewed as promising.

When Halcon pulled out of Trumbull County in spring of last year, it cited lower-than-expected results from some of its horizontal Utica Shale wells here. But a few of the company’s wells – particularly those in Lordstown – continue to produce exceptionally well.

And when the company stopped drilling activity, officials never said they were staying away forever. Rather, Floyd C. Wilson, chairman and CEO of Texas-based Halcon Resources, said the company was turning its attention from the local Utica Shale Play to other areas of the country, but that the company would take a wait-and-see attitude on production results from recently drilled local wells.

Apparently he meant what he said, because this month, for the second consecutive year, Halcon asked the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to reissue a Warren Township horizontal well permit. The permit for a well off Layer Road was set to expire this month.

While it is unclear whether the company intends to resume its oil and gas exploration in Trumbull County anytime soon, some experts have said they believe as new drilling technology develops, oil producers will come back.

It’s no secret the Utica Shale is rich in petroleum, which includes areas of Trumbull County that have been passed up largely because the shale thins in the northern part of the play. We have been told that experts expect new technology eventually will allow drillers to maneuver into the thinner shale and extract the valuable product.

So while the short-term drilling outlook may remain dim, local landowners and businesses shouldn’t rule out the possibility of increased drilling activity in the long run.