On Thursday, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced it believes the 1.25 million acres the company has leased above the Utica Shale formation in eastern Ohio is worth $15 billion to $20 billion. Chesapeake currently operates five Utica Shale rigs, expanding to eight by year’s end and up to 20 rigs in 2012.
Thus far, only 10 Utica shale wells have been drilled in Ohio as of this April, with one of those a horizontal drill in Harrison County. The reserves of the oil and gas remain unproven, though data from the Ohio Geological Survey reports quite significant quantities.
Ohio Governor Kasich said he wants jobs created to extract the natural gas from the Utica shale to go to Ohioans, including minorities, and not people from other states. “I don’t want any foreigners working on wellheads,” Kasich said Friday in a speech at the Columbus Metropolitan Club. “Foreigners are people who come from Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky, and those distant foreigners from Texas.”
According to compiled data, on the Utica Shale contour map, the Utica shale is perhaps 4000 to 6000 feet below the Marcellus shale. The Utica is at 14,000 feet in the Uniontown-Connellsville area of PA, 12,000 feet at Morgantown (WV), 10,000 feet at Wheeling and Weston, 8000 at Charleston and Weirton, and 6000 feet in Mason and Monroe counties.