NEW OIL AND GAS WELL DRILLING PERMIT CONDITIONS IMPLEMENTED FOR NORTHEAST OHIO
New permit conditions aimed at preventing natural gas from leaking into local drinking water sources and presenting a hazard
COLUMBUS, OH - New permitting conditions designed to prevent the leakage of natural gas from oil and gas wells into freshwater aquifers are now in effect for a broad northeast Ohio area.
The permitting conditions will affect oil and natural gas drilling operations in all of Cuyahoga, Lake, Ashtabula and Geauga counties, as well as northern Summit and eastern Lorain and Medina counties. The rules apply to both urban and non-urban drilling permits.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Mineral Resources Management formulated the new conditions in response to an incident in Bainbridge Township (Geauga County) in mid December. Twenty-six households were evacuated in the area after methane gas leaked from an oil and gas well into the structures via domestic water wells.
"While incidents like the one in Geauga County are very rare, given the potential gravity of the outcomes, it is necessary that we act to eliminate any chance of similar occurrences in the future," said John Husted, chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management.
The new conditions apply to all wells permitted to the "Clinton sandstone" or to a deeper formation. These new conditions stress detection of natural gas in deposits above the permitted oil and gas reservoirs; seal deep sources of natural gas in the formations in which they occur or originate; monitor gas pressure in the space between surface and production casings (annulus); and prohibit the accumulation of unsafe gas pressure in the annulus of a well.
While Ohio Valley Energy responded quickly and appropriately to the situation in Bainbridge Township, ODNR is helping to assure drilling for oil and gas - even in urban areas - is a safe endeavor. The situation in Bainbridge Township was relieved when Ohio Valley Energy, under the supervision of ODNR inspectors, cemented the suspect well to prevent further migration of gas into the local aquifer.
ODNR continues to work with the company and the Bainbridge Fire Department to purge contaminated water wells. Once purged, ODNR geologists will work with Ohio Valley Energy and the Geauga County Health District to test, disinfect and reconnect the private water wells that were affected by the seepage.
For Additional Information, Contact:
Jane Beathard, ODNR Media Relations
Scott Kell, ODNR Mineral Resources Management