Thank you for having me here today. I am honored to be able to speak with you and see your wonderful county. I live and work where the yellow dot is on the map. As you can see, this is on top of three different shale plays.Concord Township, Ohio has a population of 16,000 and is 30miles from Cleveland, OH. Cleveland is the 45th largest city in the United States with a population of close to 400,000.
We are 10 miles from Lake Erie which is one of the Great Lakes. In the winter we get a lot of Lake Effect snow. In the summertime temperatures often reach 32 C and the winter ranges from -8 to -6 C.In December 2010 the Northstar, a new brine waste deep injection well in Youngstown, OH triggered 109 seismic events over the next 12 months."The earthquakes were centered in subsurface faults near the injection well," said Dr. Won-Young Kim. "These shocks were likely due to the increase in pressure from the deep waste water injection which caused the existing fault to slip."Waste fluid generated during shale gas production, or hydraulic fracturing, is pumped underground by the deep injection well.Researchers found that the onset, cessation, and dips in seismic activity correlated to activity at the Northstar 1 well. Their findings are published in Geophysical Research-Solid Earth.The first earthquake recorded in the city occurred 13 days after pumping began, and tremors ceased shortly after the Ohio Department of Natural Resources shut down the well in December 2011.
I have a Bachelor’s of Art degree from Bowling Green State University here in Ohio and have worked for about 17 years as an international business consultant primarily in software and labor relations. My volunteer work in oil and gas consulting began seven years ago when I awoke one July morning barely able to move from intense head pain and dizziness. These symptoms and others lasted for 3 months. I went to numerous doctors who ran tests showing problems- yet they could make no clear diagnosis. None of the prescribed medicines helped. I was in my early 30s and never had such an illness before or since then.Unbeknownst to me, drilling was underway 2500 feet from my property that week. I was at home day and night with the windows open during this time. I later found out that the same day my symptoms started, a neighbor’s children were rushed to the hospital at three o’clock in the morning. Fumes released during drilling had filled their home which was only 1000 feet from the drill site.
The health departmentrelayed the fumes were a neurotoxin called hydrogen sulfide. While it is a naturally occurring gas in some areas underground, it can be instantly fatal and has caused the death of employees in oil and gas fields including one in Ohio in 2009.
Neighbor’s Doctor Note
Neighbor’s Doctor Note continued…Luckily there were no deaths and our symptoms subsided. We found that the company at fault was not issued a violation nor a fine by our state regulators because these types of emissions were not illegal to release. Ohio had no hydrogen sulfide regulations as many other states do. My neighbors who’s health and home were affected as a result of their proximity to the site had to evacuate and live in a hotel for months while their house was repaired. In the absence of any government body enforcing a regulation they had to take on the costs themselves to take the energy company to court. When they settled out of court for an undisclosed amount there was a nondisclosure agreement signed forbidding them from ever speaking of the incident again. Only I remain to tell their story.
A bit closer to here and on a larger scale, in 2003, the Red Cross of China reported the deaths of 234 people as a result of hydrogen sulfide released during drilling. Nearly everyone in the nearest village died as a result of inhaling the gas released in the middle of the night. A total of 1000 people had injuries and 64,000 were evacuated while the government attempted to rid the area of the toxins.
After experiencing what I did, I felt a had a duty to learn more and inform others. As I researched I found changes to federal and Ohio laws around 2005 eliminated most of our rights to protect ourproperty or to even pass public safety or environmental protections. These rights now belong to the state government and the energy companies who work together to promote exploration of the minerals. In addition, the same government entity responsible for promoting exploration is also the one in charge of regulation and enforcement of environmental regulations.
In fact,Columbia University Law Professor, Thomas W. Merrill states U.S. private citizens ownership of mineral rights instead ofgovernment + federal deregulation of oil and gas- allowing states to regulate, are the major reasons for the proliferation of unconventional exploration in America.1. "A production company that wants to experiment with an innovative technology can always find an owner sufficiently willing to take risks- or if you are more cynical, sufficiently ignorant of the risks. When mineral rights are owned by the government, access is necessarily controlled by a centralized bureaucracy. Bureaucracies tend to be slow and cautious." 2. "Oil and gas regulation was traditionally a state matter, and was primarily oriented toward maximizing production, not controlling environmental harms."
As ordinarycitizens affected by the side affects of the industry, myself and others who had lost their homes due toexplosions and fumes and those whose water wells werecontamined,were told by our government officials that there was nothing they could do to help us. The Senator of our area in Ohio encouraged us to work from the grassroots for change as this is the only way improvements would come about. Since 2007 we’ve been working together on the grassroots project we call People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative- Ohio. The industry has their lobby, so now we have a ‘The People’s Lobby’.
While we worked toward improving our law, public education became a by-product of our efforts. Research and estimates from the industry lobby boasted that Ohio would see 200,000 new jobs by 2014 due to the ‘Game Changing’ boom of unconventional exploration of the Ohio shale play. Instead, the actual government data as you can see shows:May 2003 shows Ohio employed 11,700. May 2013 shows Ohio employed 12,500. Over ten years the total number of new jobs created was 800. This is an average of 80 new jobs per year created in the entire Mining & Logging sector.
It was an uphill battle, but we were able to amend our oil and gas law in our state House and Senate in 2010. We did so by gaining the support of local and state elected officials by showing them the firsthand harms of lacking regulation. Some of the many provisions are listed above.
We still have some work to do. Following are the continued challenges around shale gas exploration. #1 Low Production: According to Mark D. Zoback -Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University
#2 We are still struggling with proper well construction
#3 Finally and perhaps most importantly, the permanent loss of fresh water from our water cycle and the never-ending question of what to do with the volumes of waste… Here in Ohio, over the last 34 years close to 8 billion gallons of fluid waste has been injected underground according to our reviews of state data. Many of this waste is from other states. We already know it can trigger earthquakes, what we don’t yet know is how it is impacting our underground water resources, health and environment. I hope this information from the frontlines is helpful as you consider your energy policy options.
Мацко: Співпраця з людьми при видобутку нафти та газу в Огайо
Living with Oil & Gas Exploration
By: Kari Matsko
10 Miles from Lake Erie, Great Lakes
Living 12 Miles Away from Perry Nuclear Power Plant and
7 miles away from
a brine waste
well. Elsewhere in
OH this type of
proven to trigger
Drill Rig Flaring Gas
100 feet from
CHINA:GAS WELL EXPLOSION IN CHONGQING
Information Bulletin N° 01/2003
Major Reasons the U.S. Leads in
Unconventional Shale ‘Fracking’
Private citizens ownership of mineral rights instead of government
+ federal deregulation of oil and gas- allowing states to regulate
1. "A production company that wants to experiment with an innovative
technology can always find an owner sufficiently willing to take risks- or if
you are more cynical, sufficiently ignorant of the risks. When mineral
rights are owned by the government, access is necessarily controlled by a
centralized bureaucracy. Bureaucracies tend to be slow and cautious."
2. "Oil and gas regulation was traditionally a state matter, and was primarily
oriented toward maximizing production, not controlling environmental
The original Ohio grassroots movement focusing 100% on oil
and gas issues. Our multi-tiered approach involves people who
are directly affected by the impacts of oil and gas development
working in a nonpartisan effort for reform at local, state and
federal levels. We utilize public education, legislative
initiatives and community partnerships in our mission to
provide surface owners, oil and gas employees and citizens
living near operations fair and equal treatment under the law
with regard to health, safety and property rights.
POGCO was formerly known as NEOGAP Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project from 2008-2011
U.S. Department of Labor Statistics – Ohio
Total Mining & Logging Employee Numbers in the Thousands From 2003-2013
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2003 11.9 11.8 11.8 11.7 11.7 11.6 11.6 11.6 11.6 11.5 11.6 11.6
2004 11.7 11.8 11.9 11.6 11.7 11.7 11.6 11.6 11.7 11.5 11.4 11.6
2005 11.3 11.3 11.3 11.3 11.3 11.3 11.4 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.5 11.5
2006 11.5 11.6 11.6 11.7 11.5 11.6 11.5 11.6 11.5 11.5 11.5 11.6
2007 11.8 11.6 11.6 11.7 11.7 11.7 11.7 11.7 11.7 11.6 11.7 11.7
2008 11.8 11.9 11.5 11.6 11.8 11.8 12.1 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.3 12.2
2009 12.1 12.0 11.9 11.9 11.9 11.8 11.7 11.7 11.6 11.4 11.3 11.4
2010 10.9 11.1 10.9 11.3 11.3 11.3 11.4 11.3 11.4 11.4 11.4 11.3
2011 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.5 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.9 11.9 12.1 12.1 12.1
2012 12.3 12.4 12.3 12.4 12.4 12.5 12.7 12.5 12.5 12.4 12.4 12.3
2013 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.5 12.5(P)
Ohio Law Improvements Enacted in 2010
Largest Reform of Oil & Gas Law in Our State Since 1965
Mandates fluid based drilling in sensitive areas to
suppress the release of deadly hydrogen sulfide gas
Requires baseline water well testing for those living
near proposed drill sites
Requires Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) be posted
online for chemicals used onsite
150,000 Shale Gas Wells
Completed in North America
Average Estimated Recovery
Factors are Still Very Low
Dry Gas ~25%
Petroleum Liquids ~ 5-10%
Poor cement placement in horizontal wells
due to difficulty to maintain proper
centralized casing over long distances
(casing concentric to the drill hole)
Tendency of cement to settle under gravity
in the lower part of the horizontal well
Factors of Major Impact on Well Leakage of
Horizontal Shale Wells
Controlling Fracture Propagation
Alberta , British Columbia - Canada
39 incidents of
another well site
Invading fluid: N2,
(stimulating fluids and
Distance between wells
Closest: 30 m
Farthest: 2400 m