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Ohio Utica Shale

More on the Youngstown earthquakes

By Bob Downing Published: January 8, 2012

Ohio officials are investigating whether an injection well for drilling wastes in Youngstown has triggered 11 earthquakes since last March.

But scientists have known for years that injecting drilling wastes underground causes such quakes, says Greenwire, a national environmental-energy news agency.

The U.S. Department of Energy notes on its Web site: "Oil and gas induced seismicity has been dealt with successfully and is well understood," Greenwire reported last week.

A National Academy of Sciences panel has been studying how oil and gas production and other types of energy production including geothermal and carbon sequestration can lead to man-made earthquakes.

The study was requested 18 months ago by U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M..

The panel has met seven times since September 2010 and a final report is expected by early summer.

Ohio has 181 injection wells, but problems have only been reported in Youngstown. That includes a 4.0-magnitude earthquake on Dec. 31.

Injection wells in Arkansas have been linked to earthquakes in early 2011. Other states have reported injection well-caused quakes. Oil and gas production has also been linked to earthquakes, Greenwire said.

Nationally, there are 144,000 injection wells in the U..S. that handle drilling wastes under pressure. They handle 2 billion gallons per day of drilling wastes.

The state of Ohio and D&L Energy Inc. on Dec. 30 shut down the Youngstown injection well and began an on-going investigation.

The Youngstown Vindicator reports that D&L Energy has 120 violations at its 32 injection and production wells in Ohio and Pennsylvania in the last 10 years.

The company has not been fined by Ohio, although regulators cited a lack of corrective action in some cases, the newspaper said.

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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.