In first, USGS assesses Utica shale play

Oct. 5, 2012 at 8:18 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Geological Survey said it estimated the Utica shale deposit in the Midwest holds millions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.

The USGS provided its first assessment of the Utica shale deposit. It found the reserve, which lies underneath the Marcellus shale play, contains 38 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas and 940 million barrels of unconventional oil resources.

The fields are part of the Appalachian Basin, which the USGS said is the longest-producing petroleum play in the United States.

"Understanding our domestic oil and gas resource potential is important, which is why we assess emerging plays like the Utica, as well as areas that have been in production for some time" Brenda Pierce, USGS energy resources program coordinator, said in a statement.

Anadarko Petroleum, one of the more active energy companies in Ohio, said it delivered 9,500 barrels of crude oil and 12 million cubic feet of natural gas from one well in the Utica play.

Michigan utility company DTE Energy in September signed a memorandum of understanding with Canadian pipeline company Enbridge and natural gas infrastructure company Spectra Energy Corp. The agreement calls for the development of about 250 miles of pipeline meant to carry as much as 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Utica play in Ohio.

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