Peregrine Energy Partners, a prolific buyer of royalty interests across the U.S., has for the second time this year added the Utica Shale to its portfolio.

On Nov. 1, the Dallas-based firm said it had agreed to acquire producing and non-producing oil and gas royalty interests in Carroll, Columbiana and Jefferson counties in Ohio from multiple sellers. At least some of the assets are apparently operated by Encino Energy, which entered the Utica in 2018 via an acquisition with Chesapeake Energy for $2 billion.

Although the press release doesn’t specify any operators directly, C.J. Tibbs, Peregrine’s co-founder, said that the company purchased royalties under “best-in-class operators, and Encino certainly fits that bill.” Tibbs also noted that Encino is the largest oil producer in the Utica, the second largest gas producer in the Appalachian Basin and a top 25 natural gas producer in North America.

“We’re extremely confident in their capabilities as a steward of the properties and will continue to seek out opportunities with similar attributes,” he said.

In March, Peregrine purchased Marcellus and Utica interests, including overriding royalty interests (ORRI) in 340,000 acres from EnverVest Ltd. and affiliates. Since 2020, the company has also purchased assets in the Permian and Appalachian basins from Caerus Oil & Gas LLC, Colorado’s Piceance Basin, Alaska’s North Slope and in Florida.

Peregrine doesn’t typically disclose purchase prices and the announced Nov.1 deal did include any additional financial details. The acquisition spans dozens of producing wells and encompasses over 520 net mineral acres, adding to Peregrine’s total position in the Utica which spans more than 360,000 gross acres.

“In what has become a challenging and uncertain time across the world, including for folks in the oil and gas sector, we are pleased to provide liquidity options for both landowners and industry professionals,” Josh Prier, managing director of Peregrine, said in the release.

“In an era filled with red tape and bureaucracy, sellers have really come to appreciate the efficient and no-nonsense way we like to do business here at Peregrine,” he added.

Prier did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Peregrine’s Co-Founder Wolf Hanschen said that two years ago the company didn’t own any property in Ohio but its holdings now make up a material part of its mineral portfolio.

Still, the Utica remains in the shadow of the far more active Marcellus.

As of Oct. 28, the Marcellus had 41 rigs running compared to a dozen in the Utica. Ohio is the 8th largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. behind New Mexico. Daily production for the past 12 months ended in August up 3.5%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).