Update – It was previously reported that Morrow County would be joining a number of other counties in Ohio to experience shale drilling known as High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing or “fracking.”
Further investigation reveals that was not accurate. While the permitted well WILL be drilled horizontally, it will NOT be drilled into the Utica Shale but into the previously drilled Trempealeau Dolomite formation.
EOR Technology LLC of Houston, Texas was issued the first Morrow County permit mid August to drill a horizontal well at the Morton #1 well in Denmark, Canaan Township on Township Road 133 between Township Road 130 and County Road 28. The permit lists a drilling depth of 3200 feet.
In separate letters dated July 21, 2015, the Morrow County Commissioners and Canaan Township clerk were notified of the application. Neither the County Commissioners nor the Canaan Township Trustees have oversight of the application process. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, (ODNR), has complete authority in Ohio over gas and oil operations.
The term “fracking”, when used to describe the high volume hydraulic fracturing process, is a method of extracting natural gas by drilling several thousand feet down and turning sideways (horizontally), drilling up to one to two miles long, Then millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and 80 to 300 tons of chemicals are injected deep into the ground. The pressure induced by this process causes the shale and other rock to fracture, releasing the gas. The water is then extracted, leaving approximately 70 percent underground, and the natural gas is brought to the surface.
Confusion exists in the general public because the term “fracking” has been around since the 1940’s. A distinction can be made between conventional, low-volume hydraulic fracturing, used to stimulate high-permeability reservoirs for a single well, and unconventional, high-volume hydraulic fracturing, used in the completion of tight gas and shale gas wells. High-volume hydraulic fracturing usually requires higher pressures than low-volume fracturing; the higher pressures are needed to push out larger volumes of fluid and proppant (usually sand) that extend farther from the borehole.
Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial process, with proponents claiming jobs and energy independence while opponents express concerns over water usage, water contamination and the increased truck traffic and road damage in rural areas.
The permit for the Canaan well, a low volume well, does not disclose the source of the water to be used in the drilling effort; however, the application to ODNR reveals that water will be withdrawn from Otter Creek or Shaw Creek at an estimated rate of 12,000 gallons per day with an estimated total of 120,000 gallons.
Reach Donna Carver at 419-946-3010, ext. 1804 or on Twitter@MorrCoSentinel.