From the Law Library: Oil and Gas


  • Rachel Gagnon TNOhio sits on the oil-rich Marcellus and Utica Shale deposits making the state a prime location for hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” Fracking is the use of water to forcefully open small cracks in shale allowing access to the oil and gas trapped in the rock. Many private businesses and organizations along with all branches of Ohio’s state government are participating in the business of fracking. Members of the Ohio bar are engaged with the industry representing landowners, oil and gas drilling companies and local governments.

    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources offers a wealth of information on shale development and oil and gas resources. Select “Mineral Resources” from the Ohio DNR link at the top of the page, and then “Shale Development” from the menu on the left side. Links are provided to the applicable law and rules in the ORC and OAC, as well as a summary and updates to Senate Bills 165 and 315. Practitioners may find the “Electronic Forms” of special interest. Forms are listed by topic and can be downloaded in pdf format. Other areas of interest are the FAQs, Management Best Practices, and Safety Data.

    Additional information is available at North America Shale Blog and Hydraulic Fracking. Authored by the shale team members at the law firm of Baker & Hostetler LLP, the North America site covers industry news and court activities from all jurisdictions. Embedded links in each entry give you additional information. The Hydraulic Fracking blog, authored by a Texas based law firm, also provides news and information from multiple public and private entities.

    Link to news articles, a shale glossary, and a FAQ on the homepage of the Shale Gas Reporter. The Salem, Ohio publisher of Farm and Dairy created the site to give its “readers unbiased and reliable information on shale gas development.” One recent story covers the Ohio Oil & Gas Association’s (OOGA) DeBrosse Memorial Report discussing 2012 oil and gas drilling activity.

    Find Commentary at OOAG regarding recent legislative action in the General Assembly, and in-depth industry discussions on hydraulic fracturing, shale plays, and environmental and safety issues.

    Shale Development in Ohio is a collaboration of various Ohio state agencies. The website “intend[s] to be a resource for citizens, landowners, businesses, local governments and others to better understand the issues, compliance requirements and opportunities arising from the development of the state’s shale gas resources.” Select “Basics” at the top of the page to access a Glossary of terms and FAQs. The site also has links for business owners, citizen landowners, and those looking for employment in the industry, making it simple to find information tailored to specific concerns. “Quick Links” on the right of each page direct the user to additional agency or department websites.

    Find information about the growing social movement to protect “our communities and environment from exploitative gas drilling of the Marcellus Shale” at Shaleshock and Marcellus Shale Protest. The Ohio EPA website also addresses the environmental impact of Ohio’s fracking industry. Select “Citizens and Educators” from the top of the page, then choose “Marcellus and Utica Shale” from the menu of options. Information is arranged by General Information, Air, Water and Waste. All of the articles in each subsection include links to additional websites, references and resources, including contact information for various national and state agencies. The subsections also include links for permits and forms, many downloadable in pdf format.

    The Ohio Environmental Council offers a non-governmental view of fracking. This website for the environmental lobby provides informational articles, forum notices, petitions, and information about current legislation. To access everything on fracking the site has to offer, type “fracking” into the search box at the top of the page. Users may also select “Our Work”, then “Law Center” to view current cases, opinion papers, committee testimony, and Citizen Guides.

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