ODNR says Shale Boom is growing - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

ODNR says Shale Boom is growing

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It's only the beginning. That's what Ohio's Department of Natural Resources is saying about the coming shale boom.

Thursday afternoon, the state agency released production numbers from 2012, during an online press conference. Last year, the 87 horizontal wells in Ohio produced more than 600,000 barrels of oil and 12 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

That's a 93 percent increase over 2011.

ODNR director James Zehringer says this is the start of an historic era in oil and gas production.

"The success of ohio's shale play will hinge on both the volume of oil and gas resources and how affectively those resources can be moved to market. Companies are working to provide that integral piece of ohio's shale puzzle," said Zehringer.

"We now have Utica wells that are producing on their projected promise and we have real numbers that tell their story," he said.

The future of the industry includes a more reliable and affordable way to transport what has been drilled.

Companies are also trying to figure out how it can cash in on the wet gases such as propane, butane, ethane and hexane that are brought to the surface.

"So what the companies have to do in many of the cases is transfer this gas through pipelines that are very different than the ones that deliver gas to your homes. Send it to a processor and then through that processor or a fractionator, a company will strip out components and break them down into their individual value components," said Cheif of Oil and Gas at ODNR Rick Simmers.

Governor Kasich has told ODNR that Ohio's oil and gas severance tax is too low and wants the state's to be in line with others across the country.

"I met with numerous companies and none of them said they would leave because of an increased severence tax," Kasich said.

Thursday's press conference made it clear that fracking is not going to leave Ohio any time soon.

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