UTICA — Sometime in the near future, Devon Energy Corp. of Oklahoma will begin work on the first horizontal well in Knox County. Devon, or rather a drilling company working for Devon, will drill down to the Utica shale formation, then bore horizontally through the shale.
When the drilling is complete, another company will come in and finish, or “frack” the well. If all goes as planned, the well will produce natural gas, natural gas liquids and Devon’s primary target: Oil.
The News talked with a representative of Devon about what residents near Utica can expect during the project. We also talked to officials in Ashland County about how Devon has been to work with.
Devon spokesman Chip Minty said no specific date has been set to begin drilling in Morgan Township. The company is working out a schedule for the drilling rig, which is currently near the end of drilling a shale well near Savannah in Ashland County’s Clear Creek Township. The company also has a permit for a well in Medina County.
A company receiving a drilling permit in a rural area of Ohio has two years to use the permit.
“We’re not going to wait two years,” Minty said. “It should be in the next couple months.”
The first activity will be the construction of an access road to the drill site off Kirkpatrick Road. At the site, a two- to four-acre “pad” will be cleared, leveled and covered with gravel to support the trucks and drilling equipment that will be coming in. (When the operation is finished, the gravel will be removed for use elsewhere.)