This summer, the filing for the first permit under new regulations has reignited debate over fracking in Illinois and concerns over the law’s ability to protect citizens and the environment.
Regardless of how regulators resolve their investigation into an April 2 earthquake in southeastern Ohio, drilling and well operators in the area will almost certainly need to do more careful monitoring and reporting in the future, now that there’s a known seismic risk. “Any time an earthquake occurs, that’s an indication that there’s a fault there,” said geologist Michael Brudzinski at Miami University in Oxford. The magnitude 3.0 quake on April 2 took place at 7:58 a.m. in the Marietta unit of Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. “We hadn’t really seen [an earthquake] in the area where this one occurred” in April, with the exception of the two events of magnitudes of 2.3 and 1.8 on December 12, 2016, Brudzinski noted. Nearby oil and gas activities are on hold pending further investigation by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The latest state budget from Ohio Gov. John Kasich renews his effort to increase the severance tax for oil and natural gas. And once again, that proposal is meeting with opposition from some state lawmakers and leaders in the state’s oil and gas industry.
Ohio’s highest court struck a blow to hydraulic fracturing opponents yesterday, refusing to put anti-fracking measures on the November ballot.
Since 2011, shale gas drilling has been a way of life for some eastern Ohio communities, with residents acutely aware of both the benefits and drawbacks. But as production declines, are those perceptions changing?
Researchers say coal beds, not fracking, are most likely to blame for methane found in water wells in an Ohio county — but that doesn’t mean fracked wells won’t cause contamination in the future.
Ohio energy leaders are not especially worried about future climate change impacts on their operations, despite two recent studies suggesting that extreme weather could cause significant problems by mid-century.
If scientists can learn more about that naturally-occurring water in the shale formations, drilling companies and well operators might figure out better ways to protect equipment and well integrity.
As Ohio works more closely with other states to develop its natural gas industry, a multi-state collaborative is monitoring development and seeking to “navigate the middle ground” between the industry and its opponents.
Researchers are just beginning to explore what types of microbes can eke out a living in — and how they might impact the economics of drilling operations.