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Shale boom moving south of the Valley

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CANTON, Ohio -

When it comes to the shale boom, state leaders have announced some significant numbers on oil and gas production in Ohio.

A special conference, called State Of The Play, an update on shale oil and gas production in Ohio, was held in Canton on Wednesday. It included a panel of directors from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Oil & Gas Management, the Environmental Protection Agency and Jobs Ohio.

The meeting started with the latest production numbers for 2013, which show that horizontal wells produced more than 3.6 million barrels of oil and 100 billion cubic feet of gas, nearly double that of 2012. The numbers reflect production only from 352 horizontal wells.

"The horizontal wells equaled the 50,000 conventional wells, so we know it's the real deal," said James Zehringer, ODNR director.

The director did acknowledge that the play has shifted more south in the Utica, "The play is shifting southward because that's where the utica is and the utica right now is just a more valuable gas. It's a hot gas that you can take out the propane, butane and ethane."

Production growth is also growing a new midstream infrastructure to move the product to market, processing plants and pipelines, and that is a resource for more job growth.

"Certainly, we've seen a lot on the construction side of the midstream, but also the operators, the rail cars, trucking related to the midstream operation. We do see that as a significant source of new jobs," said David Mustine, Managing Director, Jobs Ohio.

At the same time, the state has updated rules and regulations for safety and increased staff for inspections and monitoring.

"And, we've been lucky enough to get approval to hire as we deem necessary to make sure we regulate properly," said Richard Simmers, ODNA, Oil & Gas Management.

Officials said the growth is also moving Ohio toward energy independence.

 

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