utica shale

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.

Pipeline under construction
Tim Rudell / WKSU

After a decade of urging by environmentalists, many banks now have social responsibility  policies for lending, including US Bank. It just modified its policy to put a prominent industry in northeast Ohio on the restricted list.

The bank amended its policy last month to state it "does not provide project financing for the construction of oil or natural gas pipelines. Relationships with clients in the oil and gas pipeline industries are subject to the Bank's enhanced due diligence."

Ohio RIver near plant site
CC BY 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50015749 / Wikipedia

The decision on whether to build a multi-billion-dollar cracker plant in eastern Ohio is expected by the end of March and key environmental permits may already be in place.

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