Ohio’s Natural Gas Boom ?

Ohio produced twice as much natural gas last year than it did in 2012. Results so far for this year show another strong increase – gas production in the first quarter was 40 percent of that for the entire year 2013. It sounds like a huge boom until we look at it in perspective:

  • Natural gas production in Ohio peaked in the mid-eighties and declined until last year’s strong jump. While production came close to the highest levels, 2013 was only the fourth best year in history.
  • Production in our neighboring states is much higher. Pennsylvania produces almost twenty times the natural gas that Ohio does and we would have to triple production to match West Virginia.
  • Up through 2012, Ohioans were using much more gas than the state was producing. Production was providing only about 10-15 percent of our needs. While consumption data for 2013 are not yet available, we probably produced about 20 percent of what we consumed last year.

In short, the gas boom has gotten Ohio back to where we were thirty years ago. Perhaps a little tempering of rhetoric is called for.

Data were obtained from EIA and state natural resources web sites.

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