Anti-drillers in and around Kent, Ohio have some helpful suggestions for elected officials in Kent: ban fracking. And if you can’t ban it, make zoning so onerous that the practical effect would be to ban it. And if you can’t do that, be sure to pass a law that blocks access to all water supplies around Kent so drillers have no way of fracking. And if you can’t do that… See a theme developing here?
When it comes to drilling in the Ohio Utica Shale, a lot of attention has been focused on the ramp up in activity—the growing number of drilling rigs, huge land lease deals, and eye-popping initial production results for some of the wells drilled. But there is another side to the story.
Every now and again, a well does not produce. Could be the driller did not properly find the shale layer (extremely rare). Could be they did find it but for whatever reason the layer doesn’t produce in that area. More likely there were problems during the drilling that caused the work to be stopped—like a broken-off drill bit. In Ohio, there have been nine Utica Shale wells that have been plugged and abandoned (so far). Here’s where they are located and who did the drilling:
Landowners who live in Portage County, Ohio who have a concern that their water may become contaminated from Utica Shale drilling activity can have their water tested now, before drilling begins, for free. The free testing will be done on Jan. 6 (and on the first Sunday of each month) in Shalersville by the anti-drilling group Concerned Citizens Ohio/Shalersville.
There hasn’t been much in the way of Utica Shale permits or drilling in Portage County, Ohio—yet. At least compared to other Ohio counties. At last official tally, Portage has seen 14 permits so far (see this MDN story).
That may about to change. Why would we think so? Because of orange cables strung along roadways throughout the county…
Now that the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) has created tougher regulations for wastewater injection wells following earthquakes last year related to injection wells, they are once again approving new wells.
On Tuesday ODNR signed off on four new injection wells—another 30 applications are in the pipeline for consideration:
The latest permits issued in Mahoning, Harrison, Portage and Monroe counties in Ohio:
MDN has written a number of times on the issue of “forced pooling,” which is the concept that a property owner can be forced to allow fracking under their land if a majority of their neighbors have signed leases and a driller wants to drill in a “unit” (usually one square mile or 640 acres) where the reticent landowner owns property.
If there’s a single landowner, or a few landowners in the middle of the unit with a small number of acres who doesn’t want drilling, it can scuttle the deal for neighboring landowners. Most states, including Ohio, have a forced pooling provision. In Ohio it’s called “unitization.” No matter what you call it, MDN (in a departure with industry), believes it’s just plain wrong.
CONSOL Energy’s drilling in Ohio’s Utica Shale is now under way and ramping up rapidly, according to CONSOL’s Harry Schurr who spoke Wednesday at a workshop on the campus of Kent State University. They’ve already drilled their first Utica well in Tuscarawas County, and they plan to drill 15 more this year. CONSOL also has a joint venture with Hess. Hess plans to drill six Utica wells this year.
Last night a crowd of more than 500 turned out in Ravenna (Portage County), Ohio to hear details about the oil and gas industry in OH, specifically about hydraulic fracturing (for “fracking”) and its current use in both oil and natural gas drilling.