Ohio is approaching 500 Utica shale well permits.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resurces Management has approved 498 permits in eastern Ohio.

The permits were issued from late 2010 through Jan. 12.

To date, 208 of those wells have been completed — with 48 wells producing natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids like ethane, propane and butane.

The state approved 17 Utica shale permits last week: two in Belmont County, three in Carroll County, one in Columbiana County, three in Guernsey County, three in Harrison County, one in Jefferson County and four in Noble County.

Carroll County remains the No. 1 drilling county in Ohio with 179 permits.