A quick check revealed that I have written over 70 posts on the Utica Shale beginning in 2010, before the first well was drilled. In four short years the Utica has reached another landmark. It has issued over 2000 drilling permits. With the sudden decline in energy prices drilling has sharply declined. There are just 21 rigs working today compared to 45 rigs just 6 months ago but boom and bust is the nature of the energy business. From the glass is half full point of view let me point out that as of September of last year the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) began tracking the Utica, acknowledging that it is an up and coming gas play. As far as natural gas production is concerned, the Utica's per rig production is second only to the Marcellus and well ahead of the better know Niobrara, Haynesville, and Eagle Ford Shales.
According to Will Brackett, the managing editor for the Powell Shale Digest, the best is yet to come. “The Appalachian basin with the Marcellus and Utica shale is going to be center of the shale production here in the United States, at least the rest of this century and for a long time to come,” said Brackett. That's a long time!