Just How Big Will Shale Oil/Gas Drilling Get in Ohio?

The Tuscarawas Oil and Gas Alliance (TOGA) Summit was held on Tuesday, June 19 at the Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas, Ohio. One of the speakers was Rhonda Reda, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP). She said in 2011 there were 33 shale wells drilled with 5 in production, and by 2015 eastern Ohio will see some 4,000 new shale wells, mostly in the Utica Shale.

Reda had a number of statistics and predictions for how large the drilling boom will get in Ohio. Among the statistics she highlighted:

    • In 2011, Ohio produced 73 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 4.9 million barrels of crude oil.
    • The total number of wells drilled in Ohio over the years is 274,000. The state has 64,000 active wells.
    • A total of 460 wells were drilled in 2011. Thirty years ago, 6,085 wells were drilled in one year.
    • To power a community of 100,000 people for one year, it would take 241,000 solar panels on 2,907 acres, or 724 wind turbines on 1,615 acres or 20 gas wells on 8 acres.*

Reda also delivered employment and economic projections from a study published last year by OOGEEP. Some of the main findings:

    • Ohio’s oil and natural gas producers could distribute more than $1.6 billion in royalty payments to landowners, schools, businesses and communities, based on the estimate of 2,837 new Utica wells drilled and completed between 2011 and 2015. This could exceed the total amount of royalties paid for all geological formations between 2000 and 2010.
    • The industry could reinvest about $14 billion on new exploration and development by 2015. Among those investments are more than $500 million by MarkWest in Harrison County, $225 million by Timken in Canton and $64 million by Baker Hughes in Stark County.
    • Between 2011 and 2015, the industry will help create and support more than 204,520 jobs statewide due to the leasing, royalties, exploration, drilling production and pipeline construction activities for the Utica Shale formation in Ohio. Wages in the industry are projected to grow to more than $12 billion in annual salaries and personal income to Ohioans by 2015.*

*Dover-New Philadelphia (OH) The Times-Reporter (Jun 19, 2012) – Energy boom expected in Valley in 2014-15