Together, the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions extend across New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and portions of Kentucky and Tennessee. The deposits sit between 7,000 and 12,000 feet below ground.
Both geologic formations hold large reserves of natural gas and oil. Researchers estimate the Marcellus Shale alone could contain as much as 363 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to satisfy U.S. energy demands for about 14 years.
Most drilling is now occurring in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania, with growing interest in West Virginia and New York. Because the Marcellus Shale is much thinner on its western edge, Ohio is experiencing far less Marcellus Shale drilling than other states. However, Ohio will see a significant increase in future drilling, as much of the state sits over the Utica Shale formation, which experts also predict holds large natural gas reserves and potentially oil.