The Utica Shale is a rock unit located a few thousand feet below the Marcellus Shale. It also has the potential to become an enormous natural gas resource. The Utica Shale is thicker than the Marcellus, it is more geographically extensive and it has already proven its ability to support commercial production.On the map above, I added a red box to the outline of the Utica play, with a blue arrow pointing to what I believe to be the line showing the estimated range. There's a nice map at the Geology.com link.
It is impossible to say at this time how large the Utica Shale resource might be because it has not been thoroughly evaluated and little public information is available about its organic content, the thickness of organic-rich intervals and how it will respond to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. However, the results of early testing indicate that the Utica Shale will be a very significant resource.
Where is the Utica Shale?
The potential source rock portion of the Utica Shale is extensive. In the United States it underlies portions of Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia. It is also present beneath parts of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and part of Ontario, Canada. ***
I think we are a lot more "energy independent" than most people believe.