Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) officials report their research into how much of the mineral rights the state owns beneath state land in 16 eastern Ohio counties is almost complete. What does that mean? In 2011 the state passed a law allowing the state to lease state-owned land for oil and gas drilling—at least for the portions where they own the rights. It appears that’s now about to happen.
Ohio officials are cataloging how much state property sits above the Utica Shale as they prepare for potential gas and oil drilling in state parks and forests, which were opened to drilling under a law enacted in 2011.
When lawmakers were debating that idea, officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources had said the state owned less than one-third of the mineral rights under state parks and didn’t know who had the rights for land in some cases.
State workers have spent three months reviewing property records in 16 eastern Ohio counties with the most active shale drilling, stretching from Trumbull County south to Monroe County and west to Muskingum County, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the research in those counties is almost done.
More research is planned in up to 19 other counties with less active shale drilling, with possibilities ranging from Ashtabula County in the northeast corner to Meigs County in southern Ohio.*
*Lancaster (OH) Eagle Gazette/AP (Jun 15, 2012) – Officials prepare for drilling, research mineral rights in state parks