Ohio Oil and Gas Association

An estimated 30,000 Ohioans live within 650 feet of an underground natural gas storage well, according to a study published this week in the journal Environmental Health.

The study examined storage facilities in six states, finding that 65 percent of wells are in urban and suburban areas. The wells hold natural gas before delivery to businesses and households.

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Ohio Oil And Gas annual meeting Friday to talk about the administration’s effort to expand energy production, and defend the administration’s national emergency declaration.

Photo of Mike DeWine
TY GREENLEES / DAYTON DAILY NEWS

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, March 6:

photo of natural gas drilling pad
DAVID GAYLOR / SHUTTERSTOCK

The state budget director is pushing back on a bill that environmental advocates and the oil and gas industry say would streamline the process of capping some 600 old oil and gas wells that don’t have owners. The bill would also triple the amount of money set aside to cap those wells. 

James St. John / creativecommons.org

An environmental group and an oil and gas industry lobbying group are both praising a bill that passed the Ohio House that would streamline the process of capping some 600 old, unused wells that don’t have owners. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports they also want more money put toward that process.

Drilling Crew
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The Trump administration decided quietly over the holidays to abandon proposed federal regulations governing fracking on public lands. For Ohio environmentalists, the decision is big and bad news. For Ohio’s oil and gas industry, it’s a practical approach to regulation. 

Energy Transfer Partners

Activity in Ohio’s Utica Shale play has been slowly increasing in 2017 as long-term infrastructure projects, like pipelines and processing plants, have come on line.

Facilities to process production from Utica shale wells, and pipes to move it to customers, have been under construction for years. 

Shawn Bennett of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association says those are now mostly in place or will be soon. And he says that has a two-fold value.

Drilling Crew
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The U.S. oil and gas industry may be rebounding after nearly four years of decline. The International Energy Agency is now forecasting a nearly 3 percent per year output for the next five years. And, the agency predicts that shale gas will lead the way with the Marcellus and Utica plays of the Appalachian basin ramping up as much as 45 percent by 2022. 

photo of natural gas drilling pad
DAVID GAYLOR / SHUTTERSTOCK

Leaders in the Ohio House have already said they’re not interested in raising taxes on the oil and gas industry. But Gov. John Kasich is still pushing his severance tax proposal.