Ohio Shale Deposits Rich In ‘Wet Gas’

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Natural gas wells like this one continue to pop up in Ohio and around the Midwest and Great Lakes region.(Photo: Flickr)
Natural gas wells like this one continue to pop up in Ohio and around the Midwest and Great Lakes region.(Photo: Flickr)

The price of natural gas is near a ten year low and that’s prompted one major producer to pare production from regional wells. But current  market forces favor more development of natural  gas fields in Eastern Ohio.

With continued moderate winter weather and more  wells coming on line ,  natural gas supplies are near a record. So, prices have dropped sharply, nearly 75 percent since June of 2008. In response, Chesapeake Energy recently announced  it would cut drilling activity in half.  But, not in Ohio.  Guernsey County  extension agent Cliff Little reports more drilling activity in recent months.

“Actually   we’re seeing more well permits put in for Eastern Ohio and it looks like activity is going to be increasing for this portion of the state.”
Eastern Ohio, unlike other areas in the region is rich in so-called “wet gas.”  Little says.

Ohio State University geologist Jeff Daniels says deeper shale fields hold more complex hydrocarbons.

“And the wet gas has  components  that are better used for polymers and for other chemical components.”  Says Daniels.

As a result, energy companies that drill in “wet gas” regions have products other than the natural gas that they can sell. So, if the price of natural gas remains low, companies can sell the propane, helium, butane or even some crude oil produced by  “wet gas” wells

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