Ohio Game Changer – The Utica Shale
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Joel A. Rudicil, President and Owner of JR Resources, Inc. I have been actively engaged in the oil and gas business since 1978. I founded JR Resources in 1995 and have leased land that has resulted in the development of over 75 wells in a dozen northeast Ohio communities. My prior industry experience includes developing over 200 wells in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado and ownership of an Ohio based rotary drilling company. I have testified as an expert before the Ohio House and Ohio Senate in support of House Bill 278 which placed exclusive regulatory control of the Ohio gas and oil industry under the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). I was appointed by the ODNR to represent Ohio owners of natural gas wells on the Oil and Gas Advisory Council and helped develop the statewide urban drilling rules. I am an active member of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association where I currently serves as Vice President and Chair of the meetings committee and governmental affairs committee. I am also a registered Landman with the American Association of Professional Landmen and a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America .
With more than 30 years of industry experience, I have seen my fair share of oil and gas projects. But, the most prolific developments I might witness are still to come. I’m talking, of course, about Ohio’s Utica Shale.
Ohio Game Changer-The Utica Shale
The Utica shale which underlies the eastern half of Ohio is big-really big. Technology that combines with multi-staged well completions (hydraulic fracture technology) has unleashed vast natural gas and oil reserves that were previously inaccessible. This discovery, and the well development that is currently ramping up, will provide great economic opportunity for Ohio. The oil and gas industry, regulators and government are working together in unprecedented ways to assure the public that well development will be safe, environmentally friendly, and will benefit all Ohioans.
Ohio has benefited from an Ohio oil and gas industry that dates back over 150 years. The industry has steadily contributed to Ohio’s economy with jobs, taxes, and energy to heat homes and supply business. Since 1860, Ohio has produced 8.5 trillion cubic feet of gas and a billion barrels of oil with a combined market value of $125 billion at today’s wellhead prices. The Utica shale will likely dwarf these historic numbers.
An Economic Impact Study of the Utica shale commissioned by The Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) was completed in September 2011. The study model was based upon actual production and well development from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Assuming that 4,000 wells are drilled by 2015, the study determined that the Utica shale will lead to the creation of over 200,000 Ohio-based jobs over the next 5 years to support leasing, development, production and pipeline construction. Investments by oil and gas companies will reach $34 billion to fund development activity and infrastructure. Producing wells are projected to generate $1.6 billion of royalty income to Ohio landowners and increased tax revenues of $478 million. Perhaps most significantly, the Utica shale could make Ohio a net exporter of energy providing locally produced and low cost energy to supply Ohio industry for decades.
The Ohio Oil & Gas Association (OOGA) is an organization whose mission is “To protect, promote, foster and advance the common interests of those engaged in all aspects of the Ohio crude oil and natural gas producing industry and to foster safe industry operations and protection of the environment”. The mission of OOGA and its 1,750 members remains the same today. The Utica shale potential has attracted the interest and investment of many U.S. major oil companies and large independents. Many have joined OOGA as members and are working closely with us to assure the orderly development of the Utica shale. Issues that we are working closely with governmental agencies include well construction, environmental impact, well stimulation reporting, pipeline safety, water disposal, air quality and permit conditions. We recognize that one of our key responsibilities with Ohio citizens is to accurately and timely communicate facts about the industry. OOGA & OOGEEP are coordinating communication efforts with national organizations such as The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), Energy In Depth (EID), and the American Petroleum Institute (API) to proactively engage the public.
The Ohio oil and gas industry and energy policy in America is at a crucial pivot point. Ohio is fortunate to have an abundant supply of untapped natural gas and oil that underlies its lands. Now let’s all work together to develop these resources safely and responsibly for the benefit of all Ohioans.