Even as Utica and Marcellus shale companies set records for oil and natural gas production, plummeting oil prices likely will lead some to ditch their short-term drilling plans, industry officials said Friday.”Even just a few weeks ago, it was about $80. Now, it’s under $60,” said Shawn Bennett, senior vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. “Low commodity prices are causing some companies developing in shale areas to re-evaluate their drilling plans. Some, unfortunately, are going to start laying down rigs.””I would suspect that things will slow a little in the short-term,” added Tim Carr, a geology professor at West Virginia University. “In the long-term, if it stays low, then it will hurt.”According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, drillers produced more than 132 billion cubic feet of natural gas from July 1 through Sept. 30, up from 88 billion during the previous three-month period – and more than the 100 billion drawn from the entire state in all of 2013. In terms of Utica oil, the numbers show Buckeye State drillers increased production by 546,000 barrels during the period from July 1-Sept. 30, compared to the April 1-June 30 time frame.
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