Track Record of Safety
Ohio has been drilling for various sources of energy, including oil and natural gas for more than a century. Likewise, for nearly the same amount of time, the industry has used hydraulic fracturing in more than 80,000 of those wells. State agencies have reported these operations are safe.
The first commercial well in Ohio was drilled in Macksburg, Washington County in 1860, and hydraulic fracturing began in Ohio in the 1950s. Most wells drilled and completed today are completed by hydraulic fracturing operations. According to a study conducted for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, "Although an estimated 80,000 wells have been fractured in Ohio, state agencies have not identified a single instance where groundwater has been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing operations."
In addition, one of the very same shale formations — the Marcellus Shale formation — has also been developed for years in neighboring Pennsylvania and West Virginia with an excellent track record of safety and success.
With this experience, the industry can now domestically produce almost 2 billion barrels of oil per year, 26,000 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually, and employ more than 9.8 million Americans.
Collective wisdom from decades of experience and thousands of people has resulted in technology, standards and procedures that maximize the ability to efficiently collect and produce oil and natural gas while protecting the environment, workers and citizens.
Many of these standards have been adopted as references for industry performance, and incorporated into state and federal regulations. They are also being adopted by the International Organization for Standardization, a global federation of more than 100 standards groups.
These regulations and standards will protect our environment by ensuring the steps that are taken before, during and after the production of natural gas are done safely.
According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), Ohio has already proven it can safely drill for oil and natural gas. The OEPA states: “It’s important to know that there have been thousands of oil and gas production wells drilled throughout Ohio with no significant adverse impacts to local wells or drinking water supplies, and while there remains a potential for subsurface-related problems, there is no greater risk of contamination now because of Marcellus or Utica Shale drilling activity than throughout the state’s long history of oil and gas drilling.”