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Ohio Utica Shale

Background information on injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: July 14, 2013

Injection wells can be developed from a formerly producing gas or oil well, an exploratory well or drilled specifically for underground disposal.

They are drilled into porous rock formations far below aquifers to a depth of 4,000 to 13,000 feet. The rock formation is always below an impermeable layer of rock or clay to ensure that injected fluids remain in the injection zone.

Experts note that drinking water is much closer to the surface, far away from the injection zones.

The injection wells require at least three layers of steel casing and cement to ensure that drinking-water aquifers are protected.

Injected wastes generally are high in dissolved solids and contain sodium chloride, calcium and magnesium, plus toxic chemicals from the drilling process and low levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials and heavy metals from the underground rock.

Traces of barium, zinc, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, mercury and nickel are also commonly found in brine.

— Bob Downing

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

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Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

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No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.