In Just 2 Years, Chesapeake Invests $3.3B in Utica
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Chesapeake Energy Corp. reports that it has invested about $3.3 billion in drilling operations and leasehold acquisitions throughout eastern Ohio in the two years since the company drilled its first well in the Utica shale.
Chesapeake, the first major energy company to recognize the potential of the Utica shale play in Ohio, spudded its first well in December 2010 -- the now-famous Buell well in Harrison County. Since then, the company has paid landowners $2.2 billion in bonuses, accumulated 1.3 million acres in leasehold agreements, and through September, had drilled 134 wells in the play.
In January 2011, Chesapeake's Ohio operations employed 40. Today, that number stands at 550, said Keith Fuller, senior director of government affairs.
"Chesapeake has been operating in Ohio for a little more than two years now," Fuller said in a statement. "In that time, we have experienced tremendous growth that has benefited both state and local economies as well as landowners in the eastern part of Ohio."
The Oklahoma-based energy company's payroll in Ohio stands at more than $32 million, the company reported. "Our employment has grown to more than 550 Ohioans," Fuller said.
At the end of September, 32 Chesapeake wells were producing, 37 were awaiting pipeline infrastructure and another 67 were in various stages of completion.
The company now operates 13 active rigs in the play.
Chesapeake also reports that it's spent $58 million on road improvements throughout Ohio as a result of service agreements it signed with townships and counties.
And the company has donated nearly $1 million to various charitable projects and nonprofit organizations over the past two years. Among them are a $100,000 contribution to the United Way and its affiliates and $60,000 to construct a new house for Habitat for Humanity.
Chesapeake employees have also donated 800 hours of service toward projects in the company's operating area, ithe company reported.
"It's exciting to see so many locals benefit from the increased jobs, investment, and personal wealth associated with Utica shale development," Fuller said. "We look forward to further expanding the benefits of this economic opportunity."
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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