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Ohio Utica Shale

Chesapeake Energy not excited by Utica oil prospects

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2012

Ohio’s Utica shale may not produce as much oil as drillers had once envisioned, although energy companies remain very satisfied with the other products they’re finding, according to Chesapeake Energy Corp. CE0 Aubrey McClendon.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that McClendon said the Utica shale under eastern Ohio is unlikely to generate a major increase in Chesapeake’s oil production.

McClendon said Chesapeake is very pleased with its natural gas and natural gas liquids from the Utica shale. It will, he said, be "one of our foundational plays for decades to come."

Cheasapeake, the No. 1 player in the Utica shale, has been going after lucrative natural gas liquids: ethane, butane and propane, in addition to natural gas and oil. It has more than 1.2 million acres leased in Ohio.

The Utica shale is not a place "where we are going to probably see a huge amount of oil production growth," he said Tuesday at an investor conference. "And to the extent the oil works, it will be with some other companies."

A Chesapeake spokesman told the Wall Street Journal: "For the time being, we are pleased to let other companies commit their capital to the oil window" of the Utica shale.

Last May, McClendon said Chesapeake was confident that the company would report success in oil drilling in the Utica.

The Utica shale appears to have natural gas to the east with a wet gas deposit or window window to the west. That deposit is about 35 miles wide and runs through Carroll, Harrison, Belmont, Columbiana, Guernsey and parts of surrounding counties.

It appeared likely that oil would be found west of that deposit, drillers had said.

Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. had gone after the oil with wells in Medina and Ashland counties. The company reported in August that the results from those wells were disappointing. It said it intended to move its drilling to the east to tap into the wet-gas window.

Other drillers have reported success with oil wells in parts of the Utica area.

Chesapeake is the No. 2 natural gas producer behind Exxon Mobil Corp., but it has shifted to liquids production which are more lucrative than natural gas. That shift was triggered by low gas prices stemming from the natural gas glut.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

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.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

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.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.