The Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium, a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at WVU conducted the two year study into Utica shale play, which sits below Marcellus shale in the ground.
“Three years ago we formed a separate little research Consortium called the Utica Shale Consortium, and we funded it with industry money,” said Consortium Director Douglas Patchen.
After keeping the results of the resource assessment confidential, they were announced on Tuesday in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
“We’re trying to calculate the likely quantity of gas and oil and natural gas liquids within the Utica shale, within the whole Appalachian basin,” said Michael Hohn of the WV Geological and Economic Survey.
The assessment covered several states, but began in Ohio, where there is no Marcellus, and most of the drilling continues there.
The depth of the Utica play varies from state to state, but in West Virginia the drilling has begun.
“There have been Utica wells drilled in West Virginia,” said Patchen. “That Western side of the state then as you come Eastward it gets deeper, so the first place it’s probably gonna be drilled is where it’s shallower.”
“It looks like the Utica play is gonna rival the Marcellus as far as the quantity of gas and in the play both in West Virginia, and in adjoining states as well,” Hohn said. “So it is good for the economy of the region and in Northern West Virginia.
The research is available online. Visit nrcce.wvu.edu or www.wvgs.wvnet.edu/utica to read the full report.