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State officials to detail oil and gas growth in Ohio

2/07/2014 by


The latest details on how much oil and gas are flowing from Ohio shale wells will come this morning when directors of several state agencies hold a news conference here to discuss the state of the industry.

Also on the agenda are updates about Ohio’s regulatory program and the expanding oil and gas infrastructure across the state. The presentation is taking place at Stark State Community College in North Canton.

The event comes on the heels of two major spills involving oil and gas wells in eastern Ohio. In April, a well in Morgan County spilled thousands of gallons of oil and chemicals into surrounding fields and streams. And last weekend, a fire at a Monroe County well likely sent contaminants into a nearby creek, killing crayfish, minnows and smallmouth bass as far as 5 miles away from the site.

And in March, geologists said there were 12 earthquakes near a well in northeastern Ohio.

From January 2011 to February 2012, researchers recorded more than 100 earthquakes there that eventually were linked to the pumping of drilling wastewater deep underground into an injection well in the Youngstown area.

The wastewater is a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in which drillers pump millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals thousands of feet below ground to crack rock formations and release oil and gas trapped within them. The waste returns to the surface and then is typically injected into wells depleted of oil and gas for disposal.

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