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Shale Well Drilling & Permitting

Shale Development & Activity

Marcellus and Utica/Point Pleasant shale activity spreadsheets are posted weekly, typically Tuesday afternoon, by the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

Marcellus Shale

Weekly Permitting Activity
Cumulative Permitting Activity

Horizontal Marcellus Well Activity in Ohio  [pdf 140Kb] Updated 11/7/2016

Utica/Point Pleasant Shale

Weekly Permitting Activity
Cumulative Permitting Activity

Horizontal Utica/Pt. Pleasant Well Activity in Ohio [pdf 169Kb] Updated 11/7/2016

General Information

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is committed to public education and outreach. As interest in shale drilling increases, the department is providing resource information, including fact sheets and web links, on topics of interest related to shale exploration and production. We encourage you to visit the department's Shale Well Drilling page often, as we will continue to offer new resources to answer your questions about the impact of oil and gas drilling on Ohio's landscape.

ODNR's Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management is responsible for regulating all aspects of oil and gas drilling. A strong regulatory framework enables the division to ensure the safety of Ohio's citizens and environment. This framework is continuously reviewed and updated to accommodate the ever-changing technologies of oil and natural gas drilling.

Oil & Gas Laws & Regulations

For more information on Ohio's oil and gas laws, links to the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) and the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), please see the Oil and Gas Law page.

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Shale Drilling Animation

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Class II Injection Well Animation

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Hydraulic Fracturing Video

Ohio Announces Tougher Permit Conditions for Drilling Activities Near Faults and Areas of Seismic Activity

earthquake epicenters in ohio

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer announced new, stronger permit conditions for drilling near faults or areas of past seismic activity. The new policies are in response to recent seismic events in Poland Township (Mahoning County) that show a probable connection to hydraulic fracturing near a previously unknown microfault.

New permits issued by ODNR for horizontal drilling within 3 miles of a known fault or area of seismic activity greater than a 2.0 magnitude would require companies to install sensitive seismic monitors. If those monitors detect a seismic event in excess of 1.0 magnitude, activities would pause while the cause is investigated. If the investigation reveals a probable connection to the hydraulic fracturing process, all well completion operations will be suspended. ODNR will develop new criteria and permit conditions for new applications in light of this change in policy. The department will also review previously issued permits that have not been drilled.

“While we can never be 100 percent sure that drilling activities are connected to a seismic event, caution dictates that we take these new steps to protect human health, safety and the environment,” said Zehringer. “Not only will this reasonable course of action help to ensure public health and safety but it will also help us to expand our underground maps and provide more information about all types of seismicity in Ohio.”

“ODNR’s directives are a sensible response to a serious issue that regulators across the country are closely examining,” said Gerry Baker, Associate Executive Director of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. “IOGCC is pleased to work with Ohio and other states to share scientific data to better understand the nature of these occurrences.”

“These additional standards add even more strength to Ohio’s already comprehensive regulatory program,” said Mike Paque, Executive Director of the Groundwater Protection Council. “State regulators are taking an aggressive lead in tackling tough and complicated oil and gas issues and ODNR is no exception.”

More than 800 wells have been drilled in Ohio’s Utica and Marcellus shale play, including as many as 16,000 hydraulic fracturing stages from those wells. Regarding the seismic events in Poland Township, Mahoning County, ODNR geologists believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area. Further hydraulic fracturing at the site is suspended but the company will be permitted to recover resources from five of the previously drilled wells located on the pad. This is also expected to have the beneficial effect of reducing underground pressure and decreasing the likelihood of another seismic event.

Under ODNR’s lead, Ohio has joined a consortium of state regulators dedicated to learning more about seismic activity, especially as it relates to oil and gas activity. The members of this consortium are currently working with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and Groundwater Protection Council to share information and knowledge. The working group also hopes to draw upon current and future research to develop common procedures for how to monitor for seismic activity and respond if activity occurs.

The Ohio Seismic Network, coordinated by ODNR and operated by various partners, began recording seismic events in 1999. Before that time, the recording of seismic events varied from distant machines and felt reports. Ohio has a history of seismic activity, and since the network has established, Ohio has experienced 109 events greater than 2.0 magnitude. Data from the Ohio Seismic Network will be used as part of our new application review process.

A map of underground seismic faults and past seismic events is available as a PDF document

Chemical Disclosure

Material Safety Data Sheets

Senate Bill 165, effective 06/30/10, requires the division post Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on our web site for materials listed with well completion information filed with the division (ORC 1509.10 (E)).
Material Safety Data Sheets contain information about the characteristics and actual or potential hazards of a substance. Generally, an MSDS for a material is not primarily intended for use by the general consumer but is designed for hazard identification for working with the material in an occupational setting. Inclusion of these MSDS on our website, as mandated by O.R.C. 1509.10 (E), provides for added transparency as to materials used during the completion of wells in Ohio.

Topical Information & Fact Sheet Index

Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic Fracturing

Pre-testing & Environmental Safety

Pre-testing & Environmental Safety