The state of Ohio is no stranger to oil and natural gas development. The second oil well drilled in the United States was drilled in Ohio in 1860 and the energy industry has been active in the state ever since. The oil and natural gas industry directly and indirectly supports more than 17,000 jobs in Ohio.

Production of the Utica shale is bringing more energy development and economic activity to Ohio. Over the next five years, oil and natural gas companies are projected to spend over $34 billion in exploration and development, midstream, royalty and lease expenditures.  More than 200,000 jobs are also expected to be created over the next five years.

Ohio is also situated on over 18 percent of the Marcellus Shale gas play, a natural gas field formation that extends through Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York. Estimated to be the second largest natural gas find in the world, the United States Geological Survey estimates that the Marcellus shale gas play is 95,000 square feet and could contain more than 410 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Shale: Supporting Ohio Communities

Steubenville, Ohio is at the epicenter of the Marcellus formation. Advances in shale gas production could improve the town’s unemployment rate, which hit 15 percent last year. As ABC News noted in a recent segment, 300 Marcellus-related jobs have already come to the Steubenville area and 10,000 more are expected in the next three years.

What’s more, the Devonian Low Thermal Maturity shale gas play – also known as the Northwestern Ohio shale, covers the eastern half of the state.

With the right policies and technologies, natural gas production will get Ohio back to work.