Exxon Acquiring Acreage in OH Utica Shale for Oil Drilling

Utica and Marcellus Shale playsA rather generic story put out by Reuters yesterday refers to Exxon Mobil’s interest in acquiring acreage in the Utica Shale in Ohio as a new source of oil drilling. Details are sparse about Exxon’s plans, but it points out the white-hot interest there is in Ohio’s Utica Shale since Chesapeake announced in July they have struck oil, as well as natural gas and gas liquids, in Eastern Ohio (see this MDN story). Looks like Exxon considers Eastern Ohio to now be “one of the biggest sources of crude oil in the United States.”

Exxon Mobil Corp continues to acquire acreage in the Utica shale in Ohio, as the oil and gas major moves to capitalize on what is thought to be one of the biggest sources of crude oil in the United States.

Exxon is active in both the Marcellus and the Utica shales, company spokesman Jeff Neu told Reuters by email, adding that it was still too early in the process to divulge details.

The Utica shale, which stretches southwest from New York and Canada to Tennessee, lies roughly 3,000 to 7,000 feet beneath the better-known Marcellus shale formation.

The area is swarming with oil and gas companies, such as Chesapeake Energy Corp and Hess Corp, staking their claims to a huge formation whose potential remains as yet unknown.

Exxon has a large presence in the Marcellus shale after it bought natural gas company XTO Energy for about $30 billion last year and two private companies this year for $1.69 billion.*

*Reuters (Sep 22, 2011) – Exxon expanding Utica shale footprint