Ohio Governor 'thrilled' about Utica Shale potential

By Phaedra Friend Troy

In its quarterly report, US independent Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) confirmed the Utica Shale in Eastern Ohio as a "major new liquids-rich discovery."

After drilling six horizontal and nine vertical wells in Ohio, Chesapeake thinks that its 1.25 million acres in the Utica Shale formation could be worth $15 to $20 billion in increased value to the company.

The company expects to produce oil, wet gas and dry gas from the Utica Shale, which it characterized as "economically superior" to the liquids-rich Eagle Ford Shale of south Texas.

Ohio Governor John Kasich supports the development of the Utica Shale in the state, stating he was "thrilled to hear" Chesapeake's news.

“Just as I’m excited about the direct benefit that can come from production-related jobs, I’m also excited about the potential for jobs at pipeline and processing facilities," said Gov. Kasich. "I believe that we could be at the beginning of a new and extended positive chapter in Ohio’s economy and it’s essential that we properly marshal our economic development, job training, environmental and regulatory assets to make this work right and work well for Ohio.”

Currently, Chesapeake is drilling Ohio's Utica Shale with five rigs, a number the company plans to increase to eight by the end of 2011. Chesapeake plans to employ 16 to 20 rigs in the Utica Shale by the close of 2012, and contract at least 40 rigs for drilling efforts in 2014.

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