SALEM – What’s’ going on in the Utica shale play in 2014?
According to Hess Corp., it expects to increase its Utica shale play investment by almost $100 million by drilling 35 wells in Ohio for $550 million. Last year it spent $455 million in the Utica.
Based in New York, the company has a presence in Ohio as Hess Ohio Developments and Hess Ohio Resources LLC with drilling activity mostly in Belmont, Guernsey, Jefferson counties with it biggest presence in Harrison County. It has no wells in Columbiana County. Overall, Hess plans $5.8 billion in capital expenditures in 2014 with almost half of that developing the North Dakota Bakken oil fields and shale resources such as the Utica play.
Consol Energy, which has an office in Leetonia, is expecting to pour some $24 million into Monroe County in Ohio while building its presence and at the Pittsburgh International Airport where it spent an estimated $500 million for leasing rights and plans to drill upwards of 47 Marcellus wells beginning in the fall. Consol will also use electric-powered rigs instead of diesel equipment. The company said it expects 2014 natural gas production to be between 215 – 235 Bcfe, of which 5 to 8 percent is expected to be NGLs/condensates/oil. Consol, like other drillers in the Marcellus/Utica plays, is pursuing the liquids (oil) and expects the gas-oil mix to increase to 10 to 15 percent in late 2016, with a 30 percent bump in combined totals.
Economic changes and trends, tracked by Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, show that most of the Ohio businesses benefiting from shale drilling provide basic services such as earth-moving, construction, landscaping and transportation.