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Sun May 26, 2013, 07:52 AM

State forces fracking on some owners [View all]

A little-used state law that can force unwilling landowners to allow fracking on their property is growing more popular among drilling companies.

Since August, drilling companies have filed 11 so-called “unitization” requests with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Each request sought access to Utica shale oil and gas buried beneath the unwilling property owners’ land.

The new requests, three of which have been approved, involve 38 landowners, businesses and public agencies that did not sign mineral-rights leases with drilling companies.

The law allows companies to add unwilling properties to large drilling units to maximize access to oil and gas as long as at least 65 percent of the acres in a unit have been leased.In July 2012, the state had approved one such request.

The properties in these newest requests cover more than 674 acres in Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson and Trumbull counties. Critics of shale drilling and fracking say unitization violates basic property rights.

“This is yet another example of the deep, dark, black underside of this industry that they don’t want to talk about,” said Jack Shaner, a lobbyist with the Ohio Environmental Council.

State oil and gas officials say the law guarantees fair compensation, and that the properties of unwilling landowners won’t be damaged by drilling rigs, pipelines, trucks or other equipment.Natural Resources officials said drilling companies cannot drill, lay pipelines or otherwise damage the surface of an unwilling landowner’s property. Unitization does allow the company to drill horizontally through the shale beneath that landowner’s property.


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Reply State forces fracking on some owners [View all]
Ichingcarpenter May 2013 OP
annabanana May 2013 #1
Ichingcarpenter May 2013 #2
FreeJoe May 2013 #3
byeya May 2013 #4