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  • artist_formerly_known_as_pooch artist_formerly_known_as_pooch Mar 13, 2013 1:31 PM Flag

    Utica shale might stretch farther west By Edd Pritchard Mar 13, 2013

    Drilling opportunities in Ohio’s Utica shale might extend farther west, according to revised maps posted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

    ODNR geologists posted new maps on the agency’s website last week after reviewing information from 100 new locations.

    The revised map supports earlier speculation that eastern Ohio — including Stark, Carroll and Tuscarawas counties — should be a hot spot for oil and liquid natural-gas production. But it extends potential production farther west and south.

    In particular is a projected hot spot that straddles Marion and Wyandot counties. A map released last year indicated there might be fair to good production in parts of Marion, Delaware and Union counties. The revised map indicates good to very good production in those areas, as well as in Hancock, Hardin, Wyandot and Seneca counties.


    Geologists used information from wells drilled this past year, as well as core samplings and cuttings from test wells. The samples measure the total organic carbon in the rock. Measurements indicate how much oil and natural gas might be found.

    Companies have volunteered the information to ODNR, spokesman Matt Eiselstein said. This year, the state has more information from samples collected in western counties.

    Those samples have “more or less brought that into clearer focus,” Eiselstein said of the western counties.

    The Utica shale is a source rock for oil and natural gas, said Pete MacKenzie, a geologist and vice president of operations for the Ohio Oil & Gas Association. Oil and gas moves from the shale and collects in other rock formations. During the past 10 years, however, companies have started drilling shale to extract hydrocarbons.


    Companies have been aware of the Utica shale formation, which lies under most of Ohio, for many years, said Rhonda Reda, executive director for the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program.

    “The questions have been how thick that rock is, how organic,” Reda said. C

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