YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The U.S. natural gas supply is soaring and threatening to fill up the nation's storage capacity, so many of the largest natural gas producers, including Chesapeake, are slowing down production.
Natural gas prices are at a 10 year low and will likely go even lower.
In the last three months, Chesapeake Energy reduced its dry gas drilling activity by 50 percent, allowing the company the resources to concentrate on other areas including the Utica Shale.
"Our area has what's called wet gas or oil which is a little bit more lucrative right now than what they have in the Marcellus which is more of a drier gas," said Eric Planey of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.
The price of oil has averaged over $100 a barrel for months.
In a press release Chesapeake says they intend "to reallocate the capital savings from reduced dry gas drilling, well completion, and pipeline connection activities to its liquid-rich plays that offer superior returns in the current strong liquids price environment. This reallocation will result in increased expenditures in certain of Chesapeake's liquids-rich plays, including Utica Shale."
The company estimates 85 percent of its 2012 drilling expenditures will be invested in liquid rich plays.
Consumers, including local government, like the overabundance of natural gas.
"The natural gas surplus means lower gas prices for us, which is great," said Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda.
Chesapeake said the decision to lower its production will likely lead to flat or lower total natural gas production for the entire country in 2012.