EASTERN OHIO is home to a gusher. It comes in the form of natural gas drilling.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently released a report on natural gas production for Ohio's 245 wells. Sitting atop the list was Belmont, Harrison and Monroe counties.
That is news that bodes well for our local economy and employment picture. As experts have indicated, the oil and gas industry is still in its infancy, meaning the current production levels are just a drop in the barrel to what the future offers.
The ODNR report covers production from the third quarter of 2013. It indicates that energy companies extracted more than twice as much oil and gas from Ohio during those three months than in all of 2012. The report states that the 245 wells produced a total of 1.3 million barrels of oil and 33.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas from July through September.
Those are impressive numbers, reinforcing claims that the Ohio Valley will become the Mideast of natural gas.
Estimate have several local wells yielding as much as $300,000 worth of revenue per day earlier this year. That is a staggering amount which can help bring economic vibrancy to Eastern Ohio.
The totals released by ODNR may be dwarfed in the not-so-distant future. Gulfport plans to spend about $634 million to drill as many as 95 new Utica Shale wells this year.
Other companies will likely follow suit, in varying degrees. Production will escalate and in rapid fashion.
The oil and gas industry is providing a boon to Eastern Ohio. Local governmental leaders need to seize the moment and deftly utilize the the potential oil and gas offers them.