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Ohio's Utica Shale Country May See a Boost from Chesapeake Energy Leaving the Play

Oil & Gas drilling crew
Chesapeake drilling rig in Carroll County, 2012

There is a new leading player in the development of Ohio’s oil and natural gas drilling industry. ENCINO Energy just bought all of the Utica shale holdings of Chesapeake Energy and says it plans to invest in those, and to keep the former Chesapeake Utica headquarters in Louisville in Stark County. 

Natural gas well, Stark County
Well in southern Stark County, 2015

ENCINOwas formed a year ago by long-time Texas-based energy executives and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. It’s paying $2 billion dollars for nearly one million acres of drilling rights held by Chesapeake and the five story headquarters in Louisville. 

Stark Development Board President Ray Hexamer says ENCINO’s entry into the Utica is encouraging for both Louisville and the region.  “For a community, you’d rather be someone’s first and biggest asset than one of five hundred assets.  And they’re all very skilled in this industry so if they paid the amount money that they did, they see the potential.”

Chesapeake sold its Utica assets to help pay down debt it took on while expanding in shale plays across the country.