Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. is moving west of the Marcellus shale, searching for its next big oil and natural gas find in north-central Ohio, according to the Farm and Dairy.

Cabot is building exploratory wells in Ashland and Richland counties. The company also has an interest in leasing land in surrounding counties.

Currently, Cabot is drilling five wells below the Utica shale — approximately 6,000 feet deep. To do so, the company is seeking an amendment to existing leases with Columbia Gas Transmission — now part of TransCanada — to allow for horizontal drilling.

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