In this week's news, drilling permits in Ohio and Pennsylvania are up so far between November and December compared to September and October; and the rig count rose again, this time by 13 rigs

Utica and Marcellus shale well drilling permits continue to inch higher, and more drilled wells are in production.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says it issued 179 horizontal drilling-related permits between November 1 and December 16, 2016. In western Pennsylvania, 42 permits were issued in Washington County, double the number of permits issued there in October and September.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources granted 35 Utica/Point Pleasant Shale well drilling permits in November and another eight so far in December. There are now 1,472 wells producing in Ohio’s Utica and Point Pleasant shales, and another 250 drilled but not in production.

Related: Blog: Gas and Oil Fuel North Dakota’s Rise

Rig Count Rises by 13

The number of rigs seeking oil and natural gas increased by 13 last week to 637, according to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Dec. 16.

The Houston-based company says 510 rigs were searching for oil (up by 12 from the previous week), and 126 were seeking natural gas (up by one). One rig was listed as miscellaneous.

Related: 4 Reasons You Should Expand into the Marcellus Shale

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas saw an increase of 14 rigs, while New Mexico was up two and Colorado by one. Oklahoma and Wyoming each declined by two rigs and North Dakota was down by one.

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