TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Utica shale 'another game-changer'

By The Associated Press
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 8:16 p.m.
 

Drilling companies beginning to explore the Utica shale got a piece of good news on Friday when the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the rock formation in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states holds enormous reserves of natural gas and oil.

Releasing its first estimate of the Utica, the USGS calculated the shale formation holds about 38 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas, 940 million barrels of oil and 9 million barrels of natural gas liquids like ethane and propane.

The Utica lies beneath the Marcellus shale, where energy companies have drilled thousands of unconventional gas wells in Pennsylvania in recent years. The Marcellus is considered to be one of the richest natural gas reserves in the world.

Drillers are just beginning to tap into the deeper Utica. Pennsylvania and Ohio have issued 452 Utica well permits to date, and 178 wells have been drilled, according to the most recent state data.

The geological survey's Utica estimate covered parts of Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Such estimates are highly variable and subject to revision. The USGS estimated last year that the eight-state Marcellus region contains some 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas, far more than its 2002 assessment of just 2 trillion.

“As more (Utica) wells are drilled and more production data is assessed, reserves figures will likely increase,” said Steve Forde, vice president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a drilling industry trade group. He hailed the Utica as “another game-changing opportunity.”

Domestic production of shale gas has soared in recent years.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Latrobe’s Ci Medical Technologies transforms to medical device business
  2. Grads’ starting salaries way behind average
  3. U.S. stocks slip to start the week; Six Flags sinks
  4. Congress may crimp offshore merger tax relief
  5. Gas pipeline issues challenge for producers, users
  6. Checking account holdings reach 25-year high
  7. U.S. companies report rising sales, employment in 2Q
  8. Under the Hood: Interference vs. noninterference engine
  9. AK Steel to acquire Severstal plant in Michigan for $700M
  10. PPG to sell Illinois glass plant, shift operations to other sites in North America
  11. Growing architectural firm takes ‘social capital’ approach
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.