Associated Press Published

Companies Beginning to Explore W.Va. Utica Shale

natural gas, fracking

Oil and natural gas companies with Marcellus Shale operations in the Northern Panhandle are turning their attention more and more to the underlying Utica Shale.

The Utica underlies much of the Marcellus in Marshall, Wetzel and Ohio counties.
The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports Gastar Exploration is drilling an exploratory well in both the Utica and Point Pleasant formations in Marshall County.
Gastar president and CEO J. Russell Porter tells the newspaper the Houston- based company plans to move both its Marcellus and Utica drilling programs to Wetzel County later this year.
Stone Energy Corp. operates mostly in Wetzel County and plans to drill a Utica exploratory well in June. Fossil Creek of Ohio also is exploring the Utica Shale in the northern panhandle.