Drillers optimistic about Utica Shale exploration

Drilling companies are looking forward to ramping up their exploration activities in the Utica Shale this year. "Based on nearby operator activity, we are highly optimistic about the potential of this formation and believe that it underlies our entire acreage position in both Marshall and Wetzel counties [in West Virginia]," said J. Russell Porter, president and CEO of Gastar Exploration. Fossil Creek Ohio also plans to invest about $22 million for completing each of its Utica wells in Marshall County. Stone Energy expects to drill its first well in June and test it later this year, Chairman, President and CEO David Welch said.

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Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register (Wheeling, W.Va.), The

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