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.
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.”
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.