NEWS

Belmont County at Top of Ohio’s Oil and Gas Activity

March 13, 2017

Steubenville WTOV 9. Belmont County topped Ohio’s oil and gas activity list with 120 drilled wells and 1.94 million vertical and lateral feet in 2016.

It was a jump of 67 percent in 2016.

Harrison fell in second under the most-drilled county category, with Monroe, Noble and Carroll following.

Commissioner Mark Thomas says this latest industry news is somewhat predictable, as Belmont County remains the epicenter of the shale industry.

“The last couple of years, people have seen the so-called quiet period, but we saw things ramp up in the latter part of 2016 and so to see this report it’s not a complete surprise,” Thomas said.

Pipelines also allow producers to get their product to market, which paves the way for an increase in drilling.

“We’re talking about the most cost-effective, cheapest and fastest way to transport things and that is by pipeline,” Thomas said.

The report also ties in to another big industry announcement, now slated for late this year.

“If we remain where we are as far as the epicenter of the entire region, that bodes well as we go to the end of the year and the project cracker plant announcement,” Thomas said. “Not that they have to co-exist, they do not. The industry will be fine with or without the cracker plant, but it remains that more wells that are drilled in 2017 and into 2018 just go along well, those two issues are married.”

By Kate Davidson

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