9 Years Later Fracking Set to Begin in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest

Wayne National Forest (WNF) is the only national forest in Ohio and portions of it are found in Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Lawrence, Perry, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington counties. WNF is a “patchwork” of public land scattered among private land. Some 60% of the mineral rights below WNF are privately owned. Back in 2012 MDN told you that the U.S Forest Service, after holding up drilling in WNF since 2006, had cleared the way to allow fracking to begin (see Fracking Coming to Wayne National Forest in SE OH). Then any potential fracking came to a screeching halt because it was delayed by yet another federal agency–the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Since 2012 the BLM has moved like a snail, but finally (finally!) the BLM has scheduled public scoping hearings for Nov. 17, 18 and 19. Things are moving once again. Once the hearings are done, there will no reason not to move forward with plans to drill (and frack!) in the WNF…
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Driller Offers 10X Less for Vertical Leases than Horizontal in OH

In Ohio, oil and gas drilling has been going on for decades, long before Chesapeake Energy “discovered” oil in the Utica Shale a few years ago (see Major Discovery – Chesapeake Energy Strikes Oil (and Gas) in Ohio’s Utica Shale). An article from an Ohio newspaper mentions the amount landowners in Perry County are being offered in the way of signing bonuses for traditional, vertical (or “conventional”) drilling leases. It’s a tiny fraction of what landowners receive for leasing Utica Shale acreage:

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Large Block of 95K Acres Available for Lease in OH Utica Shale

A private firm representing landowners with 95,000 acres in southeastern Ohio issued a press release yesterday essentially saying, “Hey, we’re still here, and we still have 95,000 acres to lease to some lucky driller.” The land is located in Washington, Athens, Meigs, Muskingum, and Perry counties in southeastern Ohio.

MDN is not in the habit of running this kind of “news,” but we are today because a) it helps the landowners, and b) it’s more or less a large landowner group—even though it’s a for-profit venture. And so, without further ado:

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