API touts Ohio's shale gas potential

May 3, 2012 at 7:50 AM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 3 (UPI) -- Ohio is positioned to become part of an energy revolution fueled by shale natural gas deposits, a trade group leader said.

American Petroleum Institute President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Gerard told an audience at an energy jobs summit in Ohio that shale natural gas was a "game changer" for the region.

"We are at the forefront of an American revolution not seen since the tech boom in the 1990s," he said. "Ohio is home to one of the largest resources of energy in the U.S. and using smart policies to develop these resources would mean more jobs, better wages and more revenue to the government."

Ohio hosts portions of the Marcellus and Utica plays, two of the richest shale deposits in the United States. Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest gas producers in the United States, said Utica could hold as much as 25 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Energy companies use a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas from shale. The chemicals used in the process could contaminate drinking water supplies, stirring concern among environmental groups.

A series of small earthquakes recorded in Ohio recently were attributed to the pumping of wastewater from shale gas operations deep underground.

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