Despite Slow Start, Huge Impact of Utica Shale Exploration Still Expected

From the Zanesville Times Recorder:
If there's any doubt about the future of Utica Shale in Muskingum County, local educators aren't letting on. Facilities such as Zane State College and the Mid-East Career and Technology Centers already have developed programs to cater specifically to the oil and gas industry, and more are on the way, they officials said. 
Production in Ohio is slower than anticipated, but it still is coming, said Paul LaPrise, an Energize Appalachian Ohio career specialist with Zane State. 
So far in Ohio, 144 horizontal Utica wells have been drilled, according to the latest Ohio Department of Natural Resources update. Using Pennsylvania and West Virginia as models, it should have been thousands by now, LaPrise said. 
"It's just kind of a difficult situation at the moment, but it's going to be a blessing, it's going to be an economic boon," LaPrise said. "It's going to be a very big boon for Zanesville. We're going to be right in the middle of it." 
LaPrise sees three main reasons for the sluggish start: concern over hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking; an abundance of natural gas, which is driving down prices; and uncertainty about the future of an oil and gas severance tax in Ohio. 
"These are problems that can be handled and will be handled, and pretty soon, we'll be producing the 200,000 jobs that we're anticipating," he said. 
There's "too much oil there" for companies to ignore Ohio, LaPrise said. "They'll come. It's just working out the details."
Read the rest of the article here. 

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