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When will drilling operations start in Campbell and Struthers?



Published: Sat, June 1, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

When will drilling operations start in Campbell and Struthers?

Even though some companies have aggressively been leasing land in both Campbell and Struthers for months now, drilling operations will not occur in the area in the immediate future. Exactly when, or if, those companies will start drilling for oil and gas is unknown at this point.

In all of Mahoning County, exploration and production companies have secured just 19 permits to drill, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The nearest drilling operations are occurring in Poland Township, where Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co. has drilled a well, according to ODNR records.

It’s worth noting, though, that Hilcorp has signed a majority of the leases in Campbell and Struthers to date. The company, along with a few others, has targeted Mahoning County and portions of Trumbull County. Hilcorp also has pushed to secure land across the state line in Mercer County, Pa.

The region, which encompasses a portion of Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania, is home to an area where the Utica and Marcellus shale formations overlap, which has led some geologists to suggest that exploration and production companies could have more potential reserve targets, including profitable wet gas. For now, any future drilling operations in Campbell and Struthers largely will depend on well results in nearby places such as Poland Township and even well sites in Trumbull County.

I currently own property on the lower East Side of Youngstown and would be interested in leasing it for fracking. How would I lease my property to an oil and gas company?

Typically, oil and gas companies will approach you if they’re interested in using your property for development.

In rare cases, those companies might express interest in an offer to lease if the property is near an area of development. Given the fact that there are no drilling operations in Youngstown at the moment, there is little demand for land there, and an offer to lease likely would be met with little interest.

Still, some companies have secured land in the city’s more rural areas. For those interested in learning more about the value of their property to oil and gas companies, there are a number of ways to get started.

You could first check with an advocacy group such as the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley. The ALOV provides education, information and assistance to landowners with a stake in the Utica Shale play. You can visit www.alov.us for information.

Some companies, such as the Pittsburgh-based U.S. Shale Investment Fund, purchase leases for oil and gas companies. To learn more about the Shale Investment Fund, visit http://usshaleinvestmentfund.com/.

It also might be worth a try to contact your local recorder’s office to find out which companies are actively leasing land in your area. For Youngstown, a call to the Mahoning County Recorder’s office would be necessary.

Online forums also are a good way to get in touch with other landowners who have successfully leased their land. A popular website for those interested in the Utica and Marcellus Shale plays is www.gomarcellusshale.com.

Questions about shale development or the fracking

process can be sent to news@shalesheet.com.


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