Controversy continues over the rapid growth of high volume oil and gas operations made possible by horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The state’s natural gas production nearly doubled last year, mostly as a result of horizontal wells in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio. Market shifts have made that formation’s “wet gas” particularly profitable.
Such wet gas has a relatively high proportion of other light hydrocarbons in addition to methane. Those other hydrocarbons can be separated out, processed and sold to make plastics and other petrochemical products.
“These are very valuable products,” said Rick Simmers, Chief of ODNR’s Division of Oil & Gas Resources. “And they make the Utica unique among shale plays in the entire nation and, for that matter, in the world.”