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Ohio Utica Shale

Ohio drilling is now comparable to Pennsylvania, West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: November 9, 2012

From Columbus Business First and Jeff Bell:

Ohio has entered the same league as western Pennsylvania and West Virginia when it comes to drilling activity for shale gas and oil.

Some 27 rigs are drilling in Ohio’s Utica shale play, said David Mustine, managing director for JobsOhio’s energy efforts and quarterback of Gov. John Kasich’s shale gas team.

That is about the same number of rigs that are operating in the more established Marcellus shale plays in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Each of those states has 27 to 30 rigs, Mustine said, and it’s the first time Ohio’s drilling activity has reached that level.

“It’s very significant activity,” he said during a presentation at a post-election program hosted Thursday by Success Group Ltd., a government affairs firm in Columbus.

Here are some of the other highlights of Mustine’s presentation:

• 436 drilling permits have been issued in the Utica shale play, with 177 wells drilled, and 36 producing natural gas and oil.

• Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK), whose CEO said recently he was “absolutely thrilled” with results so far, continues to lead the drilling activity in Ohio with other big companies, including BP Plc (NYSE:BP), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE:RDS.A) and Exxon Mobile Corp. (NYSE:XOM) getting started.

• “Mid-stream” companies, such as natural gas processors, are moving forward with $1.7 billion in investments in the Utica play.

• In the past month, Mustine has met with 25 “down-stream” companies interested in Ohio because of shale gas and oil. They include businesses that use natural gas for fuel or feedstock for products such as chemicals and plastics as well as oil refineries.

“It’s exciting,” Mustine said, “but it will take awhile for it to unfold. We’re certainly optimistic (the shale play) will have an impact on Ohio’s future.”

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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.