Federal Reserve Beige Book Report Looks at Utica Shale Development

The full online text of the Cleveland Beige Book Report, which is the Federal Reserve's report on the U.S. Economy, can be found here.  This is what it had to say about energy in our area:
Conventional oil and natural gas production held steady during the past six weeks, with little change projected in the upcoming months. Wellhead prices for natural gas rose slightly. Drilling rigs are migrating from other states to Ohio to take advantage of the higher-priced wet gas found in the Utica shale. To date, 375 permits have been issued in Ohio for drilling horizontal shale gas wells. Thirty wells are now producing, with 50 expected to be in production by year's end. Coal producers reported production declines in 2012 of between 10 and 50 percent over prior-year levels due to lower demand from electric utilities and a stricter regulatory environment. Reports of idled mines are widespread. Spot prices for export metallurgical coal declined further, while domestic steam coal prices rose slightly due to tight supplies. Production equipment and materials prices were flat in most categories, other than for diesel fuel. Capital outlays remain at projected levels. Several coal operators announced layoffs. In Ohio, a regulatory agency more than doubled its employment size over the past 12 months to cope with expanding shale gas activity.

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