Standards and Regulations
Stringent standards and operating procedures for natural gas drilling protect citizens and the environment. They are enforced by the drilling companies and the government through strict regulations and oversight.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is a trade association representing 500 member companies across the oil and natural gas industry. For more than 85 years, API, in conjunction with its member companies, has developed and refined engineering standards and practices for all aspects of oil and natural gas production. Many of these standards have been adopted as references for industry performance, and incorporated into state and federal regulations.
Companies producing natural gas from the shale formations adhere to these strict standards when planning for and operating their wells. Many of these companies are also the ones who developed the standards, and have been using them in production for years, if not decades. Since hydraulic fracturing began in the 1940's, more than 1 million wells have been drilled using this technology. The companies that continue to follow these strict standards and regulations will protect the safety and health of all citizens and the environment. API and its member companies also continually monitor and update these standards to ensure operational safety and efficiency.
The State of Ohio follows federal, state and local regulations to monitor the entire operation of producing natural gas. Statutes are in place to regulate hydraulic fracturing and protection of underground sources of drinking water (USDW).
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has primary regulatory authority over oil and gas drilling activity in Ohio, including rules for well construction, siting, design and operation, and hydraulic fracturing. Additionally, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory authority focuses on ensuring wastewater from drilling activity is properly managed to protect water resources.
With development of Marcellus and Utica Shale, the ODNR, Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Health (ODH), these agencies work together to ensure safe development of Ohio's natural resources, creating regulations, as necessary, to oversee drilling, water use, waste management and infrastructure. For example, ODNR has developed a set of regulatory standards that positions the state as a national leader in safe and environmentally responsible disposal of brine, which is by-product of oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing.
- Environmental Safety at the Well Site (ODNR)
- API HF1, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations—Well Construction and Integrity Guidelines
- API HF2, Water Management Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing
- API HF3, Practices for Mitigating Surface Impacts Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing
- RP 51R, Environmental Protection for Onshore Oil and Gas Production Operations and Leases
- PI Std. 65-2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well Construction