WHEELING - With a Chesapeake Energy natural gas rig drilling into the ground just off Dement Road, the Marcellus Shale rush has taken another step forward in Ohio County.
Including this well site in the name of Glenn Didriksen, Chesapeake now has at least 15 different well sites planned for Ohio and Brooke counties, according to information provided by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Oil and Gas.
The horizontal well at the Didriksen site is supposed to reach a total depth of 6,578 feet, according to Chesapeake Director of Corporate Development Stacey Brodak. She added that it is too early to say how long it will take the on-site workers to achieve this depth.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Just above the trees, a Chesapeake Energy gas drilling rig cuts into the ground at the Glenn Didriksen pad, just off Dement Road in Ohio County.
The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - which involves pumping 5 million to 6 million gallons of water, sand and chemicals down into the well to fracture the rock to release the gas - will begin after the drilling is finished, Brodak said.
As the drilling continues on the Didriksen pad, Chesapeake is rapidly making plans to bore into several other areas of Ohio and Brooke counties. The company has been operating heavily in Wetzel and Marshall counties and is quickly moving to focus some of its resources on the more northern counties.
Brodak said the pad for the Gantzer well near The Highlands is finished, and the site is awaiting the arrival of a drilling rig. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection website now shows eight other Chesapeake drilling sites for Ohio County.
These are the additional sites where Chesapeake is seeking DEP permission to drill in Ohio County, with some of those permits already granted:
As for Brooke County, there are now five sites on which Chesapeake would like to drill. These include:
Alhough Chesapeake and other drillers, such as AB Resources and Trans Energy Inc., have not publicly discussed the number of wells they plan for the area, it is probably safe to say there will be more well sites on the way.