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Ohio Utica Shale

Guar growing on the rise in U.S.

By Bob Downing Published: April 29, 2012

Guar, a little-known legume used in natural gas-oil extraction, is getting record-high prices.

Plantings are expected to triple this year to 50,000 acres, mostly in Texas and Oklahoma.

But the main supplier is India where 8.6 million acres of the legume are grown.

Lat year, American farmers grew about 11,000 acre of guar that is used as a thickener in the drilling process.

Guar prices rose from 30 cents a pound in 2011 to a record 35 cents a pound in 2012.

In 2005, the price was 12.5 cents a pound.

Halliburton, the Houston-based well service firm, cited the rising cost of guar as a reason that it is seeking higher fees from energy producers.

Bloomberg News reported that guar can account for up to 30 percent of the cost of fracking or hydraulically fracturing a well.

The industry is seekinjg less-costly alternatives.

American farmers are less slikely to switch to guar because there are no federal insurance programs that would protect farmers from potential loss.

Guar is also used in shampoos, ice cream and lotions.




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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.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

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.