Representatives from Guernsey County, Ohio took a field trip last week to Pennsylvania to have a look at how gas drilling can safely be done—even in the midst of farming operations.
"Guernsey County is sitting on a world class formation of Utica shale which has oil as well as gas," David Hill said. "That’s a good thing for Guernsey County because crude oil is trading at a premium compared to natural gas."
On Thursday, Hill and John Hudson took a group of Guernsey County community leaders to visit various well sites in Belmont County and western Pennsylvania.
Speaking to the group while enroute, Hill stressed that drilling wells need not be environmentally unfriendly.
"I would like you to notice how harmonious [the well] is with the [adjacent] farmland," he said. "Drilling and farming are not mutually exclusive.
"We can have both. This is the United States. We’re smart enough to be able to do that."
He reiterated that point at a site in in Pennsylvania.
"That is about a $10 million energy factory," he said. "And you can see that they are farming right up to the edge of it."
The owner of the farm on which the well sits not only gets to continue farming, but earns a royalty as well — and what a sum it is. So productive is that particular well that the royalty is about $1,000 daily, Hill estimated.
A great response to the naysayers who say that gas drilling can’t be done safely: “We can have both. This is the United States. We’re smart enough to be able to do that.”
*The Daily Jeffersonian (Jun 12, 2011) – Road trip gives officials hope that oil and gas boom may arrive here