utica shale

Drillling rig in northeast Ohio
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Ohio’s oil and gas drilling boom started in 2010, peaked in 2013 and has been fading since then.  Now there are signs it may be picking up again. 

Larry Hecht runs Pier-48 on the Ohio River.  It’s an intermodal terminal for loading and off-loading barges.

At the height of the shale boom it got 25 bulk shipments of drilling supplies like barite a month. Then came the bust, and that traffic stopped.

Energy Transfer Partners

Activity in Ohio’s Utica Shale play has been slowly increasing in 2017 as long-term infrastructure projects, like pipelines and processing plants, have come on line.

Facilities to process production from Utica shale wells, and pipes to move it to customers, have been under construction for years. 

Shawn Bennett of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association says those are now mostly in place or will be soon. And he says that has a two-fold value.

work on drilling pad
Tim Rudell / Drillling Pad Construction

Speculation is continuing among analysts and in trade publications that eastern Ohio’s Utica Shale play may be firing up again.  July numbers for things like drilling rig count and infrastructure investment are expected to be up again. 

Drilling Crew
Tim Rudell / WKSU

The U.S. oil and gas industry may be rebounding after nearly four years of decline. The International Energy Agency is now forecasting a nearly 3 percent per year output for the next five years. And, the agency predicts that shale gas will lead the way with the Marcellus and Utica plays of the Appalachian basin ramping up as much as 45 percent by 2022. 

Utica Shale Drillling RIg
Tim Rudell / WKSU

How much has shale drilling meant to Ohio’s economy? A new report by researchers from Cleveland State and Youngstown State universities says more than $50 billion since 2011.   

The study, led by Andrew Thomas of Cleveland State, used government and industry data to determine how much has been invested in developing Ohio’s Utica shale.

But he says that’s only part of the picture.

Pages