The announcement Wednesday that Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s test wells in the Utica Shale formation “showed positive results” was not surprising, said geologist Bill Reinthal of Jelloway. Reinthal said you would expect that based on the high organic content of the formation.
Reinthal is a senior lecturer with the Wayne College Division of Akron University.
Dave Shafer with the Mohican Basin Landowners Association called the report good news because confirming the formation will be productive will drive lease prices higher. He said a land owner in Holmes County recently signed a lease agreement that will pay him $4,000 an acre for a five-year lease. He owns 700 acres.
Shafer said when he last checked, MBLA membership was between 800 and 850 members representing 91,000 acres of land. He expects that by Dec. 1, which is when they plan to end their enrollment period, the association may be at 1,000 members and 100,000 to 120,000 acres of land.
“The news will be a catalyst for people who were uncertain to get on board,” Shafer said.
Reinthal said the Utica Shale also lies next to a limestone formation and as a result has a high calcium content. That, he said he learned from talking to officials at the Ohio Geologic Survey, means the formation fractures better than the Marcellus Shale (the formation that is being exploited in Pennsylvania), and so the oil and gas will flow more freely.