Is Michigan the next place where horizontal drilling and fracking of shale will take off? Maybe. The U.S. has a myriad of shale plays across it. It just so happens the Marcellus is the largest (land-wise) and the Utica is right now one of the hottest (with oil and natural gas liquids).
Part of the Utica formation underlies Michigan. But the formation of note in Michigan is the Collingwood Shale layer. The Utica is above it, so it’s often referred to as the Utica-Collingwood. The Collingwood is two miles (or more) below the surface. Encana and others have been testing the Utica-Collingwood in Michigan, but lately, it seems like activity in the state is picking up beyond the “just testing” stage (see the map below). Is this a sign of things to come?