Utica shale 'another game-changer'
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- 350-pound black bear briefly stuck between Uniontown buildings is relocated
- Rolling Stones roll into Heinz Field June 20
- Reliever Holdzkom among three players cut by Pirates
- Former Pa. Gov. Corbett: From pension critic to collector
- Five is enough for Penguins’ defensemen
- Worker trapped in trench collapse in Butler County is freed
- Friendship mortgage broker sentenced to 1 year and 8 months in prison
- Injuries to Penguins’ Ehrhoff, Letang force defense to pick up slack
- Reversing the field: Pirates continue to raid Yankees for hidden skill
- Laurel Mountain Ski Resort discusses planned revival