BP (NYSE: BP) has entered the Utica Shale through an agreement to lease roughly 84,000 acres in Trumbull County, Ohio, the company said March 27.
The acreage, in the northeast section of Ohio was selected by BP for future oil and gas production in the Utica/Point Pleasant shale formation.
“BP is excited to expand our presence in Ohio in a way that will create jobs, bolster the local economy and provide additional sources of energy from an important emerging American resource,” said Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America.
BP signed the agreement with the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley (ALOV), a group representing area mineral owners. Members of ALOV voted March 26 to approve the lease arrangement. Terms of the agreement, to be executed with each landowner, are confidential.
Through its heritage companies of Standard Oil of Ohio (SOHIO) and Amoco, BP’s roots in Ohio date back to 1870. BP operates the BP-Husky refinery near Toledo which it owns in a joint venture with Husky, LLC, and is also a leading marketer of fuels in Ohio through independently-owned marketers under the BP brand. BP heritage companies have also been active in the upstream business throughout its history in the state of Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates a recoverable Utica shale potential between 1.3 and 5.5 billion barrels of oil and between 3.8 and 15.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
“We are very encouraged by what we have seen of the Utica/Point Pleasant formation. Our focus in 2012 will be to better understand the geology and devise a plan to safely develop the resource,” said Tim Harrington, regional president for BP’s North America Gas (NA Gas) business.