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Ohio Utica Shale

Ohio wrapping up study of state land ownership for drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2012

Ohio officials are cataloging how much state property sits above the Utica shale as they prepare for potential gas and oil drilling in state parks and forests, which were opened to drilling under a law enacted last year, the Associated Pres sreported today..

When lawmakers were debating that idea, officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources had said the state owned less than one third of the mineral rights under state parks, and they didn’t know who held the rights for land in some cases.

State workers have spent three months reviewing property records in 16 eastern Ohio counties with the most active shale drilling, stretching from Trumbull County south to Monroe County and west to Muskingum County, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the research in those counties is almost done.

"This demonstrates the level of work that is necessary in terms of identifying the mineral rights that are owned by the state," spokesman Carlo LoParo said. "Many properties contain hundreds of parcels, all of which had to be researched."

More research is planned in up to 19 other counties with less active shale drilling, with possibilities ranging from Ashtabula County in the northeast corner to Meigs County in southern Ohio.

The industry has flooded the state in search of gas and oil deposits in the Utica and Marcellus shale formations, and Gov. John Kasich and other state leaders are hinging much of Ohio’s job growth strategy on the increase in drilling.

Environmentalists have expressed concerns about pollution from drilling and the method known as hydraulic fracturing, which blasts millions of gallons of chemically laced water into the earth to fracture shale formations and release oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids such as propane.

It’s not clear when drilling companies might be offered access to state park properties.

Some companies were briefed about state lands last month but received no schedule, said Brian Hickman, a spokesman for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

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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.