Posts tagged "SB 165"
Ohio’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry Responds to Youngstown Case
Sunday, February 17th, 2013 | 1 Comment
From Rhonda Reda, Executive Director, Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program:
We applaud the prompt response by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in this investigation. Their swift, diligent action is reflective of a strong regulatory system in which irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated, and are measures we fully support in this isolated incident. The simple fact is this: there is no room in Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry for operators whose deliberate actions have placed our environment at risk.
Our industry holds itself to the highest standards as good stewards of the community, and good stewards of the environment. Should the state determine that any operation fails to meet these standards, swift action must be taken. Any findings of criminal misconduct should be prosecuted accordingly.
Again, there is no role for operators who knowingly, and willingly, ignore our regulations to cause harm to our environment in our state’s bright energy future.
From Thomas E. Stewart, Executive Vice President, Ohio Oil and Gas Association:
Today, federal charges were filed against the injection well operator accused of illegally disposing of oilfield wastewater into a Mahoning County storm sewer.
We believe that any individual or company that has willfully violated Ohio and/or federal law regarding the proper disposal of oilfield wastewater should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
We support the efforts of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (DOGRM), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and the federal government to thoroughly investigate and prosecute this incident.
We applaud these groups for working in tandem and acting quickly to address this unfortunate incident. It demonstrates that Ohio has the appropriate protections in place to appropriately regulate the oil and gas industry and to swiftly punish those who violate laws and regulations.
Ohio Well Construction Regulations Setting the Bar
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 | 4 Comments
Throughout it’s history, Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry – and the regulators who oversee these operations – have placed the highest priority on safety standards.
Nowhere is this more evident than during the well construction stage, and the high standards set forth by Ohio’s industry and it’s regulators to ensure this vital phase is completed meeting stringent standards that are second-to-none, and serve as a model for developing states across the country.
With the passage of Senate Bill 315 earlier this year – an update on the two year old SB 165 – Ohio now has the most robust, transparent regulatory system in the country, and, in looking at the graphic below, we can see how our state is setting the bar when it comes to well construction rules.
Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights, as shown above, of Ohio’s regulatory structure and the rules that make development in our state safe, and effective.
Well Construction Standards
With 8 areas of well construction practices and objectives, Ohio leads developing states with it’s regulation of 54 identified standards.
This regulation exceeds the recommendations of the American Petroleum Institute’s Best Management Practices (30 standards recommended) and the Environmental Defense Fund’s Model Regulatory Framework (50 standards recommended).
Here’s a look at how Ohio compares to other developing states:
- Michigan – 25 standards regulated
- Oklahoma – 20 standards regulated
- Pennsylvania – 35 standards regulated
- West Virginia – 16 standards regulated
- Wyoming – 37 standards regulated
Casing & Water Protection
In order to ensure protection of our water supplies, developing states regulate the minimum depth of the surface casing of a well in relation to the water aquifer. Again, Ohio’s regulation ranks at the highest (or, deepest) level required.
With the deepest water well at around 200’ beneath the surface, Ohio’s regulation requires operators to have casing depth to 655’. That’s a separation of 455’ between the casing and ‘usable water’.
The required depth of this casing ensures the protection of our water resources – a priority for every developer – and is furthered by Ohio’s strict casing cement standards.
As the process is overseen by regulators on-site, the tests conducted on these casings are the first of it’s kind in the country, calling for testing at 500 pounds per square inch for a duration of 30 minutes. This test is conducted for both the tail and lead cements.
As Ohio continues to emerge as a leader in domestic energy production, it also maintains it’s status as a leader in having a strong, transparent regulatory structure.
Moving forward into our development of the Utica Shale, these regulations and best practices put forward by the industry allow the state’s energy producers to continue to do what they do best – safely and responsibly develop our nation’s energy future, and put Ohio back to work.
Education is Key to Ohio’s Energy Future
Monday, May 7th, 2012 | 2 Comments
Ohio’s oil and gas industry is experiencing significant growth. With increased activity, and increased attention on the development of the Utica Shale, more and more people are showing interest in what is rapidly becoming one of our state’s premiere industries. As the excitement continues to build around the incredible potential our shale deposits bring, so too does the curiosity towards the various aspects of oil and gas production and development.
Many Ohioans aren’t familiar with the state’s long tradition of oil and gas development. In fact, most Ohioans aren’t aware that we’ve been one of the nation’s leaders in energy development far longer than Texas or Oklahoma. Ohio has a rich history in producing oil and gas, and it’s becoming more and more evident we have a bright future as well, thanks to development of the Utica Shale.
With the steady increase in attention towards Ohio’s Utica Shale and it’s great potential for our state, there is a coinciding increase in the volume of the conversations taking place across the state regarding this homegrown energy source. Unfortunately, some of the “loudest” conversations are those wrought with misinformation and factually inaccurate statements.
This is a complicated, technical industry, with complicated, technical processes utilized to extract our natural resources.
Many of those who stand in opposition to the safe, responsible extraction of oil and natural gas have done themselves and their neighbors a disservice in vain attempts to over-simplify the process, instead deciding to lump any and everything oil and gas related under one umbrella term. Confusion of facts and a lack of understanding has generated more confusion, unwarranted concerns and polluted the public conversation on oil and natural gas development, and the great, positive impact it is having on our state.
People all across Ohio have questions and concerns, and are entitled to the facts when it comes to the natural gas industry and it’s practices. Education is the key to our success in our efforts to move Ohio forward together as a leader in energy production and economic growth.
It’s incumbent upon those of us working in the industry to share the history, inform others of the robust regulatory framework in Ohio, and provide factual information on the best practices used in oil and gas development. We are obligated to share this with our friends, neighbors and citizens of the state. We must discuss frankly the “hot” topics such as hydraulic fracturing, injection wells and wastewater disposal, and provide our experience, facts and expertise in these subjects.
Many individuals who work in the industry, just like many other small business owners across the state, are working hard to run their businesses. At the same time, oil and gas producers are in a public perception battle across the United States. For too long, we have allowed people, many from far outside the Ohio border, to tell our story for us even it if may be filled with misinformation.
Too often these days, it seems those with the least education are doing the most educating. This is a dynamic we are fighting to change.
The (OOGEEP), the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Ohio Petroleum Council (OPC), the Buckeye Energy Forum and Tags: education, Energy in Depth - Ohio, Hydraulic fracturing, OERA, Ohio Energy Resource Alliance, OOGA, OOGEEP, SB 165, Utica Shale
Sugarcreek Residents Eager to Learn About Coming Development
Thursday, January 26th, 2012 | 0 Comments
This week the Sugar Creek Rotary sponsored an informational session at the Valley View Community Church. The session featured a wide variety of speakers in a panel to address the community’s questions and concerns regarding oil and natural gas development. The panel included Chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Dave Hall, Dale Arnold of the Ohio Farm Bureau, Rep. Al Landis, Tuscarawas Co. Engineer Joe Bachman, , Lloyd MacAdam, Deputy Director of District 11 of the Ohio Department of Transportation and Eugene Chini of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas.
Robert Eckert, president of the Sugarcreek Rotary, served as moderator and asked the panel an array of questions ranging from issues such as water quality to road maintenance. The 160+ person crowd was eager to learn what will be coming to their communities.
The first question of the night focused on protecting water supplies and ensuring they are not disputed or affected by development.
Eugene Chini, ODNR Oil and Gas Administrator, fielded the question pointing out the well casing rules put forth with the passage of Senate Bill 165. With today’s regulations, there are roughly four layers of steel tubing and specialized cement in place to ensure fresh water will not become contaminated. His answer touched upon many points that have been made here before when EID-Ohio published an informative Op-Ed by Marietta College of Petroleum Engineering chairman Bob Chase.
Dale Arnold, of the Ohio Farm Bureau, told landowners conduct baseline water testing so they understand the current state of their water supply. Mr. Arnold indicated this is especially important as he has found that many private drinking water wells in Ohio are beyond their original life expectancy. He also suggested owners inspect their septic tanks, as they contain many of the same 20 compounds found in development. Once both are cleared of any contamination, Mr. Arnold encouraged the landowners to go back and get a certified test from the health department:
Rep. Al Landis (R-Dover) , also provided the audience insight on how to approach water testing when signing a lease. He recommended that when one signs a lease, they include a provision that the company tests their well and provide them with documentation of the results.
Rep. Landis continued by providing additional insight into the development of Ohio’s recently revised oil and gas regulations. Landis pointed out that two local politicians including now Congressmen Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and State Senator Jason Wilson (D) both sponsored SB 165, with Ohio House Members Dave Hall and Allan Sayre having sponsored the companion legislation in the House. The area was well represented when SB 165 was enacted in 2010.
When asked about a proposed moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, Chairman Hall informed the audience that Ohio has been utilizing hydraulic fracturing for decades without incident.We (Ohio) have been using hydraulic fracturing as a completion and enhancement technique for 60 years, and have recently developed 13 Utica shale wells in Ohio without issue. The practice is safe and efficient. This successful history was largely developed before our regulations overhaul which, as detailed in the STRONGER report, is an aggressive overhaul that provides a stronger regulatory program. Providing an anecdotal example of fear of the unknown and reactions it may elicit, Chairman Hall told the crowd a nice story about how, at the turn of the century, his great grandmother said the church was afraid of electricity coming to the area – they were afraid it was going to burn their house down. They were so scared they slept in the barn for a week.
Chairman Hall continued with the history of successfully enhanced wells in Ohio. He informed the crowd there is a lot of bad information being spread regarding the process of fracturing, but that residents should not succumb to the fear mongering. As a former Ohio Mid Eastern Government Alliance Director, he had to see people with no hope of jobs or progress. Now he sees a “sparkle back in their eyes” with this shale development.
Chairman Hall touched upon a very important topic in his story: Eastern Ohio is poised to benefit greatly from the shale development. The influx of jobs and development will mostly take place in this region of the state. The Chairman’s message was simple, eastern Ohio has been forgotten about for too long, and to take away this opportunity based on propaganda would essentially be the last nail in the coffin for a climb back to prosperity.
Given the diverse panel, and the very informative panel presenting the benefits and the safety involved in the process of oil and natural gas development in Ohio many in attendance took away a better understanding of the development that is to come.