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Marathon Petroleum Sticks with Utica Shale Despite Downturn

Jason Stechshulte
Tim Rudell

Even as the bang continues fading in the oil & gas drilling boom, one big energy player keeps investing in eastern Ohio.  

While low energy prices have stifled drilling, work is underway on transmission links between Ohio’s Utica shale wells and processing plants across the Midwest.  

Jason Stechshulte is a Senior Engineer for Findlay-based Marathon Petroleum. He says the company is pursuing a long-term strategy to take advantage of massive reserves in its own back yard.

“What we intend to do is build some new pipelines, and then utilize some existing pipelines - where we’ll add additional horsepower so we can move more product through those pipelines, and really offer additional opportunities for Utica producers to get to various markets.”
Condensate and natural gasoline samples
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Bottles contain samples of condensate (left) and 'natural gasoline' -- liquid products that come from Utica Shale wells.

When completed in 2017 the new links will bring Utica Shale “liquids” from Harrison and Columbiana Counties to the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Canton, and the rest of the company’s system. 

Stechshulte says the company has created and will continue to develop other transmission capabilities too. “We have a trucking fleet in the Utica Shale that hauls condensate on a daily basis.  We have a truck to barge facility over in Wellsville. So, Marathon is very invested in the Utica and will continue to make investments in the Utica Shale.”

Senior Engineer Jason Stechschulte talks about other ways to move Utica shale production

Marathon Petroleum is the nation’s fourth largest refinery and pipeline operator.