Does anyone know why drilling companies can't get permits to drill under interstate highways in Ohio. I know drilling units near me are always drilled right to the edge of the interstate then abruptly stop near me. Also, I have land that's split in two by the interstate and there are wells on each end of my property on both sides of the interstate so I'm blocked in since no drilling can take place under I-70. I've been told this by multiple companies but I haven't been able to find out what government agency is blocking it. I talked to an inspector for the ODNR and he said it wasn't them. He said it might be the Ohio department of transportation or the federal government but he didn't know. I've been told that this could change soon but no one seems to know exactly what's going on with this?

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When directional drilling was in its infancy, unscrupulous operators would purposely directionally drill across lease lines into prolific reservoirs to steal oil. This practice was outlawed long ago.

The Oil company that I started engineering for 37 years ago yesterday was Amoco Production Company. They held leases under the ground that is now Denver International Airport.The vertical wells were plugged and abandoned; new wells were later directionally drilled under the airport. Amoco (which became BP America Production Company 20 years ago), re-drilled the wells and hydraulically fractured them. The reservoir there was very low permeability, fine-grained sandstone. BP sold these leases many years ago.


If you own property adjacent to state lands, you might want to look at ORC 1509.022 before you talk to too many people about drilling under your neighbor park. You “might” end up with the rig and all that goes with it but no royalties. That law states that they can place  a rig on your land for directional drilling and not include your parcel in the drilling unit. If you’re talking to your representative you might want to mention that issue in the conversation. That law was passed in the same budget as the Gas and Oil Leasing Commission.

Simple solution. Add to your addendum that if you are pegged with the well pad then all your acres shall be in the unit, and no foreign wells. 

And if you already have a lease but then they just want use your lands for a pad and not put you in the unit, tell them we can do this the hard or easy way.  I'd tell them you can easily get my signature for the surface use agreement provided all my acres are in the unit.

Part of the issue is an old legacy lease, that many of us in the area of Salt Fork have, that states that, in consideration of the original signing bonus, another well can be drilled for any purpose with no additional signing bonus. With the State Park on one side and an interstate highway on the other limiting how far they can drill in that direction, it looks very interesting for some of us. We need to be careful about what we wish for, or at least knowledgeable about that law and discuss it with the current,legislators.

From what I read, the federal Gubment is having meetings about leasing the Wayne National Forest in southern ohio  for oil&gas development this summer. Whatever they decide,is suppose to be the model for Ohio's Oil&gas leasing of State mineral rights. State parks and under interstates. Whatever they decide, whether it's about the money,or politics, people's opinions will not be considered. 

Wait; don't look now. Eclipse already got permission to driil under I-70 interstate in Guernsey co. Ohio. Had to "forcepool", but got it done. So, "never happen" has already?

They had to forcepool the State of Ohio. To drill under I-70. Maybe ODNR? It was part of a discuusion on here years ago.Who else would have the mineral rights under the interstate. Took them about 2 years to get it done. That's probably why others don't want to fool with it. Southeastern ohio is going to look like a spaghetti factory on the drill maps with open strips where the interstates and state parks are. They are ok for now just to go around them. Most well pads that are close are right beside them ,drilling laterals away from them. Or they set up a couple miles away and bottom out at the States property lines. I'm sure some of that gas&oil gets sucked out anyway.

Here's a message I recently received from the ODNR.:

Director Mertz shared your email with me and asked that I share some upcoming information with you.

I certainly understand your concerns. As you may know, the Ohio Legislature in 2011 passed a law that establishes a process for leasing state-owned mineral rights through an Oil & Gas Leasing Commission. For various reasons, over the past eight years those leasing rights have not been exercised. When Director Mertz was appointed to lead the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in January 2019, she tasked me with getting a clearer understanding of the issue and reasons for postponement. I have found that, the way the law was written may need some clarifications . I intend to present those to the members of the Oil & Gas Leasing Commission in a few weeks for their consideration. A meeting notice will be sent out shortly. Liz Roberto, who is cc’ed on this email, will be sure to add your email address to our meeting notice distribution list so that you can stay apprised of developments.

Thanks again for reaching out. Director Mertz and I recognize how important this issue is to so many Ohioans and are committed to working through it.

Brittney M. Colvin
Deputy Director
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
2045 Morse Road, Building D-3
Columbus, Ohio 43229

I would say that after 8 years of doing nothing ,outside of an occasional meeting, that sending out a notice about another meeting, is just more of the same. Why "in a few weeks"? how about tomorrow?  Ohioans are tired of paying people to do nothing! elections are coming up.

Because of this beaurocratic slow walk, many Ohio landowners have had their mineral production bypassed, and already planned around because theirbownstate has been a pathetic neighbor.  No meeting can help the already effected, continued slow walk adds more to those disinfranchised by their own government.  Sad!  All affected landowners should consider a class action due to inaction if that is at all legally possible.


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