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Report: U.S. Poised To Become Top Oil Producer No Thanks To Ohio

A recent Harvard University study shows the United States is poised to become the world’s largest producer of oil in the next four years thanks to shale drilling in several states. But Ohio won’t be a significant contributor. Leonardo Maugeri is an associate with Harvard’s Geopolitics of Energy Project. He says more than 30,000 wells are drilled in the United States every year, compared to just 4,000 in the rest of the world. That’s largely because other countries lack the drilling rigs that are widely available here. At that pace, Maugueri says two western states will propel US oil production to the head of the pack. "Texas and North Dakota in particular have the possibility to largely increase the number of wells that are necessary to exploit shale oil resources. And this makes it possible for the United States to become the first oil producer in the world by 2017," Maugueri said. Maugeri says states like Ohio and Pennsylvania won’t be big players. For one thing, there’s not as much oil in the shale there as there is under Texas and North Dakota. Maugeri says Ohio’s Utica Shale is a lot more rich in natural gas liquids. But he says there’s another reason: there’s more public resistance to drilling in densely populated areas. “You need to have very huge territories that are scarcely populated in order not to have a reaction by the population seeing many derricks and wells coming out overnight.â€? And Maugeri says that’s something that part of the United States is not ready to accept.