Bob Downing

Drilling into Ohio’s Utica shale for natural gas is expected to create at least 65,680 new jobs by 2014, according to a new study.

The development of the shale that underlies eastern Ohio is estimated to be worth $9.6 billion by 2014, said the study that was released today.

That compares to $291 million in Ohio economic impacts in 2011.

The 81-page analysis was done for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Shale Coalition by Cleveland State University, Ohio State University and Marietta College. The study was funded by the chamber and Ohio industries.

The shale boom will likely have sweeping economic impacts on Ohio by adding $4.9 billion to the state’s gross domestic product in 2014, a 1 percent increase, the study says.

By comparison, the Utica shale development produced $162 million in Ohio GDP in 2011.

Ohio had 33 wells drilled in 2011, of which only four were placed in production. The others are waiting for pipelines and higher natural gas prices.

According to most estimates, more than 1,000 wells will be drilled by 2014. That will require a $6 billion investment on the part of energy companies like Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., the biggest player in Ohio shale.

In 2011, drilling and production created 2,275 jobs in Ohio, the report says. That number is projected to grow to 12,150 in 2012; 40,606 in 2013; and 65,680 jobs in 2014.

The biggest job boom will be in gas-oil service companies that provide contract services to energy giants — with that portion of the job total doubling between 2013 and 2014.

Here's another account of the study from Columbus Business First. It includes a link to the full report.