COLUMBUS, Ohio -- American Electric Power says an influx of drilling activity in Ohio's Utica shale has driven up power sales.
Gigawatt-hour use for the Columbus-based utility‚Äôs industrial energy users grew 29.9 percent in 2014‚Äôs first-quarter compared with a year ago. In an earnings release issued earlier this month, the company also said that industrial sales in non-shale counties fell 0.4 percent.
AEP CFO Brian Tierney said that the company is seeing nationwide growth related to shale gas activity. In a statement accompanying the company's earnings release, Tierney wrote that eastern Ohio's Utica shale provided more than 40 percent of year-over-year growth. Texas' Permian shale basin also contributed to AEP's gains.
AEP has 5.3 million electric customers in 11 states, including about 1.5 million customers in Ohio.