I still recall attending Governor Kasich’s Energy Summit in 2011 during his first year of office. Governor Kasich proclaimed the arrival of a new method of drilling that would transform the economy of Ohio and change the energy balance of power in the world. Fast forward to 2016 and many of the predictions have been realized – shale oil and gas production has transformed the U.S. economy, solidified the U.S. as a dominant force in the world energy market, and stimulated regional economies, such as Ohio, throughout the country.
With respect to the Utica Shale of Ohio, one E&P has distanced itself and emerged as an asset development and community involvement leader – Gulfport Energy Corporation. In 2016, Gulfport is projected to operate the most rigs, drill the most wells, and spend the most capital in the Utica. Gulfport began its Utica Shale operations in Eastern Ohio in 2010 and is now the most active driller in Ohio’s Utica Shale. Today, Gulfport has approximately 231,000 net acres under lease in the core of the dry gas, wet gas and condensate windows of the play. While Gulfport operates oil and gas assets in other plays, Gulfport’s primary area of business is in the Utica Shale. To date, Gulfport has invested more than $3 Billion in Ohio, and that number will only increase, as more than 95 percent of Gulfport’s 2016 investment will be directed to Ohio – a figure that is expected to be approximately $425 to $475 million in 2016 alone. This is an exciting time for Gulfport Energy. You can access more information on Gulfport's history on their website and read additional coverage on their involvement in the Utica shale here.
Besides the operational success, the company, and its CEO Mike Moore, are committed to the southeast Ohio region, where Gulfport conducts a majority of its exploration activities. Because of its commitment to the community, Gulfport Energy created a fund designed to serve the nonprofits, schools, and organizations in the areas where it operates. Gulfport has committed almost $1,000,000.00 to the six county area where they operate, and has already invested nearly $300,000 in the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and awarded 49 local grants, directly impacting over 15,000 people. The fund has helped increase technology in classrooms, improve access to vision screening and care for students, educate young people on the dangers of drunk driving and the prevention of suicide, and support arts education, among other initiatives.
All of this is exciting news for Ohio, and hopefully 2017 will yield even more successes.