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Ohio Utica Shale

Pennsylvania DEP adds disclaimer to reporting web page

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2012

From the Associated Press:

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has added a disclaimer to its Marcellus shale natural gas reporting web page.

The agency now tells visitors to the website that it can’t guarantee the "accuracy, completeness or timeliness" of production data that companies submit and that "no warranty of any kind is given by DEP with respect to the production data."

Financial markets and energy companies use the production reports as part of long-term decisions involving billions of dollars.

The disclaimer comes after several experts in the oil and gas industry criticized DEP in August for not alerting the public to problems in a biannual report. One of the state’s largest natural gas producers at first submitted unusable data and, as a result, the statewide production totals appeared to be far lower than they actually were. The problem was later corrected.

DEP spokesperson Katy Gresh said the agency decided to provide the clarification because of some public confusion about the reporting process.

The state legislature is responsible for how oil and gas reporting laws are written. Current law relies on self-reporting by oil and gas companies, and DEP is not required to independently verify the data. In most states, companies report production every month, but Pennsylvania law requires only biannual reporting.

The Marcellus Shale is a gas-rich formation of rock thousands of feet under much of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. Advances in drilling technology made the shale accessible, which led to a boom in production, jobs and profits, and a drop in natural gas prices for consumers. The drilling operations also raised concerns about pollution and the effects on roads and other public services.

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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.