Ohio Fracking Wells Double Production in 2015

Fracking wells in NE Ohio (ODNR)
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At a time when oil prices are below $2 a gallon,  the amount of oil and gas produced by wells in Ohio has doubled. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued fourth quarter results today (Wed).   Details from Ideastream’s Mark Urycki.

 

With the growth in hydraulic fracturing in Ohio to tap gas and oil hidden deep underground in the Utica Shale formation, the Buckeye state now has 1230 wells in production.  They pumped out 22 million barrels of oil last year, twice as much as in 2014.   Natural gas added up to 950 billion cubic feet, or 110% of the 2014 totals. 

The increase comes despite very low oil and gas prices.  ODNR spokesman Eric Heis says the number of applications for drilling permits has been slowing.

“Production has gone up because more wells have been drilled. That does not mean production has gone up as much as it has the past few years.  With prices, you see a slowdown in the industry.”  

Ohio’s severance tax on the oil and gas produced also rose from $6 million dollars in 2014 to $21 million last year.   Governor Kasich wants to raise the tax rate, arguing it's one of the lowest in the country.  Heis says what money does come in goes to help fund ODNR.

“That money helps fund the oil and gas department including the inspectors, vehicles for the department to get out every few weeks.”  

Along with gas production, the amount of wastewater pumped back underground is also up.  Most of the wastes pumped into injection wells in Ohio used to come from out of state but last year 55% was produced from Ohio’s own fracking wells. 

The highest producing gas well was in Guernsey County and Belmont County had the top oil well.   

In their last debate, Democratic presidential candidates were asked about fracking. Hillary Clinton said a number of condition should be met before it’s allowed.  Bernie Sanders said he’s flat out against fracking.

 

Mark.Urycki@ideastream.org

 

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