Marcellus Shale Drilling Heats Up in Ohio – “Few Thousand Wells” to be Drilled in Next Several Years

Drillers who have been active in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia are now turning their sites on Eastern Ohio where a slice of the Marcellus Shale formation sits.

"The economies around us are benefiting from drilling. You see it in Pennsylvania, it’s real; you see it in West Virginia, it’s real. Now it’s here, and we have to grasp the opportunity," said state Sen. Wilson, D-Columbiana. "I think this is the biggest opportunity for job growth for eastern Ohio we have seen in a generation."

"This is really an enormous opportunity for us," said Wilson, who represents Belmont, Jefferson, Harrison and Columbiana counties. "I know we could be looking at a few thousand wells being drilled over the next several years – that creates a lot of work and economic activity.*

In Ohio, drillers are not only going after the Marcellus Shale, but also the Utica Shale formation. The Marcellus is about 5,000 feet deep. The Utica sits below the Marcellus. In Eastern Ohio it’s about 8,000 feet down. Both shale formations are being actively pursued in what is called the Appalachian region of the U.S., which stretches from central New York through most of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, skirting Western Maryland and Virginia and Eastern Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the following wells have reached the Marcellus Shale formation*:

Belmont County

  • On property in the name of Marcum, west of Powhatan Point – by Phillips Exploration Inc.
  • On property in the name of Cowen, west of Bellaire and Bridgeport – by Equity Oil and Gas Funds.
  • On property in the name of Gulley, west of Shadyside, near Jacobsburg – by Phillips Exploration Inc.
  • On property in the name of Pollock, south of St. Clairsville, near Warnock – by Marquette Exploration.
  • On property in the name of Boan, west of Powhatan Point – by Phillips Exploration.
  • On property in the name of Capstone Holding Co., east of Flushing – by Marquette Exploration.

Jefferson County

  • On property in the name of North American Coal in the area of New Alexandria and Fernwood State Forest – by Marquette Exploration.
  • On property in the name of Curti, near Mingo Junction – by Range Resources Corp.
  • On property in the name of North American Coal in the area of New Alexandria and Fernwood State Forest – by Marquette Exploration.
  • On property in the name of DeNoon near Edison High School in Richmond – by Eric Petroleum.
  • On property in the name of North American Coal in the area of Bloomingdale and Fernwood State Forest – by Marquette Exploration.

Monroe County

  • On property in the name of Bradfield in Ohio Township – by Virco Inc.
  • On property in the name of McIntire in Ohio Township – by Virco Inc.
  • On property in the name of Cisler, west of Fly, Ohio – by Beck Energy Corp.
  • On property in the name of Early, west of Fly, Ohio – by Beck Energy Corp.
  • On property owned by Ormet Corp. across Ohio 7 from the Hannibal Reduction Plant – by Virco Inc.

*The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register (Mar 30, 2011) – Ohio Readies For Gas Drilling Rush