The late Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) co-founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon once said that the Utica shale would be the "biggest thing economically to hit Ohio, since maybe the plow." While it has not turned out to be that big, it is the second largest shale-gas play in the country by production. That is remarkable, considering that Chesapeake didn't drill the first well in the Utica until 2011.
The Utica shale 101
While Ohio is the center of the Utica drilling boom, the shale itself underlies not just eastern Ohio, but also most of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as parts of New York, Virginia, and Maryland:
IMAGE SOURCE: THE U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION.
Given the sheer size of the resource, McClendon once called the Utica a "half-trillion dollar" opportunity for Ohio. While it might never hit that level of economic output, it has fueled remarkable growth in the state's oil and gas production. Last year alone, oil production was up 99.9% to 22 million barrels, while the state's natural gas output surged 110% to 452.9 million cubic feet.
Due to the energy market downturn, Ohio's production will not grow that rapidly in 2016. However, the Utica shale boom is far from over, because there's still a tremendous amount of oil and gas trapped within its rocks. Several producers are working to extract those hydrocarbons, though five companies stand above the rest as the dominant players in the Utica.Read the whole article by clicking here.
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