What do a Mountain, a Keystone, and a Buckeye Have in Common? Ohio Joins West Virginia and Pennsylvania as the Latest Appalachian Basin State to Enact New Laws Targeting Shale Gas Development

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Following legislative trends set by lawmakers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Ohio is the latest state in the Appalachian Basin to enact new laws governing natural gas development from unconventional formations like the Marcellus and Utica shales. A robust bill that covers a broad array of energy related topics, SB 315 (signed by Governor John Kasich on June 11, 2012) contains a number of new provisions for horizontal well development and related activities and sets forth standards and provisions applicable to gathering companies operating in the state.

Horizontal Wells

Ohio’s Revised Code and its implementing regulations administered by the Division of Oil and Gas Resource Management (“Division”) within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (“ODNR”) govern oil and gas well development in the state. SB 315 updates existing laws and creates new provisions mostly targeting “horizontal wells,” defined as “a well that is drilled for the production of oil or gas in which the wellbore reaches a horizontal or near horizontal position in the Point Pleasant, Utica, or Marcellus formation and the well is stimulated.”

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