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Ohio Utica Shale

ODNR director's testimony for Senate Bill 315

By Bob Downing Published: March 31, 2012

Ohio currently has 47 horizontal wells drilled into the Utica shale, but that number is expected to grow to 250 by the end of this year, to 750 by the end of 2013, 1,500 by the end of 2014 and 2,250 by the end of 2015.

That assessment came this week from James Zehringer, head of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, in testimony in favor of Senate Bill 315 that tightens Ohio's rules on drilling..

It goes beyond Senate Bill 165 that last overhauled drilling rules.

Ohio, he said, is "well positioned to deal with current levels of oil and gas development. However, in light of this enormous potential growth in drilling activity, we have a responsibility to put in place regulatory safeguards and staffing that will bolster citizen confidence and protect our environment. Failing to do so would jeopardize the substantial economic impact of this emerging industry before it gets started.

"What we are proposing in Senate Bill 315 are common sense measures that incorporate many industry best practices. We have the benefit of studying the successes and missteps of those who have gone before us. We've learned what works and what does not.

"Let me say this plainly: If Ohioans lose confidence in our ability to protect public health and safety, this potential boom will fizzle."

The Kasich administration wants tow things: codified, clear and transparent regulations and enough personnel to enforce those rules, Zehringer said.

Ohio conferred with officials in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, North Dakota and Colorado, he said.

You can Zehringer's seven pages of testimony at the Utica shale blog of a Columbus law firem, Bricker & Eckler LLP. It's one of the best and newsiest shale blogs in Ohio. Click here for the testimony. The blog is at




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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.