Attitudes Towards Utica Shale Cooling a Little in Wake of Production Report

From The Columbus Dispatch:
The warm-up is almost over in Ohio’s Utica shale country. Now, it is time to see whether the flurry of activity, the billions of dollars of investment and the hyperbole about its potential will produce substantial results.
Oil and gas now are being pulled from the layer of rock known as the Utica, located as deep as 9,200 feet under the eastern and central parts of the state. Figures released last week show that energy companies nearly doubled their production in the Utica last year. Based on those results, industry experts now have a better sense of what the Utica is and what it isn’t.
Here is what we know:
• While the Utica is beneath eastern and central parts of the state, its sweet spot is a much smaller area that includes Carroll, Harrison, Columbiana and Noble counties.
• Despite early hopes that the Utica would be rich with oil, its most abundant resources are natural gas and natural-gas liquids. Much of the oil is locked away in areas that are difficult to access with current technology.
• Central Ohio is unlikely to see an oil and gas boom. Devon Energy is already giving up on the Utica and is selling its assets there, having drilled the closest to the area with a well in Knox County and coming up virtually empty.
Nobody contributed to the high expectations as much as Chesapeake Energy and its now-former CEO, Aubrey McClendon. Two years ago, he told an Ohio audience that shale energy would be the biggest thing in the state “since maybe the plow” and estimated $500 billion in income.
His company remains the largest leaseholder and producer in the state, but his successors and other energy executives have toned down the talk.
“Early on, there was this hype that (the Utica) was going to be the next east Texas or Saudi Arabia,” said Randy Albert, chief operating officer of gas operations for Consol Energy of Pennsylvania, which is drilling in eight Ohio counties. “It’s not going to be that.”
The rest of the article can be read right here. 

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