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Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: New Ohio Rules Affect Well Construction

By James C. Carpenter and Katerina E. Milenkovski

May was a busy month for lawmakers in Ohio.  Last month, a legislative panel approved new rules for the construction drilling wells in the state, and the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 315 aimed at regulating oil and gas companies. The new regulations come as more and more energy producers migrate to Ohio looking to tap energy reserves in the Utica shale.   

The legislative panel passed rules affecting well casing, cementing and testing as well as notification and reporting. The new rules mandate that drillers notify the Ohio Department of Natural Resources 24 hours before cementing on well casings begin so an inspector can be present.  Also, the rules state that all water wells within 300 feet of shale wells in urbanized areas must be sampled.     

The rules also mandate:

  • Permit applications must include a plan for disposal of water and other waste from the exploration, production and drilling processes
  • Drillers submit a casing and cementing plan showing how the owner proposes to drill and construct the well consistent with available geologic information and within the requirements of Rule 1501:9-1-08 of the Administrative Code
  • Well casing must be steel alloy consistent with American Petroleum Institute standards
  • Owners submit detailed records within sixty days after drilling to total depth that include the date cemented, cement types and additives, the name of the cementing contractor, pumping rates in barrels per minute and other details

The rules will take effect on August 1, 2012 and can be viewed by clicking here.

Because of the significance of Senate Bill 315, Steptoe & Johnson will host a free webcast on the topic at noon on Wednesday, June 13.

Click here to register for the June 13 webcast, "Senate Bill 315: New Regulatory Requirements for Oil and Gas Drilling, Disposal and Gathering in Ohio." 

James Carpenter focuses his practice in the areas of business litigation, corporate law, banking, real estate and construction law. 

Kathy Milenkovski's legal practice focuses on energy and environmental law, with an emphasis on air quality issues.

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