Recent shale play discoveries in the eastern part of Ohio mean that over 200,000 new jobs will be created by 2015 if shale drilling is allowed to continue to thrive. The major gas plays in this state are Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale, and these are currently being explored by dozens of companies.
Both the Marcellus Shale play and the Utica Shale play are located in the eastern part of the state - they actually overlap somewhat, with Marcellus Shale being closer to the surface but Utica Shale spread throughout more of Ohio.
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In both cases, the gas found in this shale was previously not economical to collect because of how long it took to drill to pockets of gas and the low production rates. New drilling techniques, such as horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing, have changed the game. Because companies can now reach this gas more easily, the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale plays are hot spots for big oil and gas companies, who are grabbing leases to land in this area as quickly as possible.
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Although most of the oil and gas industry in this state is focused on Eastern Ohio, you can also find productive oil fields in Western Ohio, so companies in this area are hiring as well. These oil fields are concentrated in the northwestern part of the state for the most part, in the Trenton Limestone area.
Some people have been skeptical that the so-called oil and gas boom in Ohio and surrounding states might be overrated and prone to only creating temporary jobs over the next year or two. However, experts estimate that these shale plays could actually be one of the largest gas discoveries in the entire country, putting Ohio on par with states like Texas and even the newly popular North Dakota. Only time will tell just how many jobs will be created in this state, but it certainly isn't just wishful thinking!
Jobs Note! Due to environmental concerns over the fracking process, especially given recent pollution claims in neighboring Pennsylvania, Ohio is also becoming a hotbed for environmental and inspection related jobs.
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