Eastern Ohio sets bar for natural gas production

MOUNT PLEASANT — The sight of two active drilling rigs and multiple pipeline crews working along state Route 647 northwest of Martins Ferry seems to fit with reports of the Buckeye State growing natural gas production from the Utica shale by more than 43 percent in 2016.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources data show drillers and frackers pumped 1.37 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2016, a record that shatters the previous year’s mark of 955.6 billion cubic feet. For a point of reference, 1 billion cubic feet is enough fuel to provide power to about 24,315 homes for one year.

Despite an overall slowdown in late 2016, the industry continues to grow, especially in the eastern portions of Ohio.