The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District approved a partial assignment of deep mineral rights under three leases at Clendening Reservoir in Harrison County to America Energy-Utica, the new company formed by Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy.
The transfer is further evidence that McClendon is actively pursuing Ohio's Utica shale.
The firm reportedly has lined up $1.7 billion in financial backing.
The partial re-assignment was requested by EnerVest Energy, which had owned the rights and in transferring them to McClendon'sOklahoma-based firm.
The three leases together cover 132.96 acres and hold two producing wells.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.