ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio -- Consol Energy has closed its Columbiana County field office as its refocuses resources on shale drilling and development in southeast Ohio.
The Pittsburgh-based exploration company opened the office at a time when Carroll, Columbiana and Jefferson counties were thought to sit above the richest deposits in the Utica Shale; however, as initial production rates have put the highest-producing wells in Belmont, Monroe and Noble counties, Consol is among many companies restructuring its efforts to focus on the southeastern region of the Buckeye State.
Around 15 employees have been relocated to Consol's existing office in St. Clairsville in Belmont County. Consol has 44 horizontal Utica permits in Ohio, most of which are in Noble County. The company has also backed a joint venture with Hess Corp. that is concentrating on midstream operations in both Noble and Monroe counties.
A Consol spokesman said the company's current growth strategy is aimed at shifting away from coal and moving more toward oil and natural gas.