James St. John / creativecommons.org

An environmental group and an oil and gas industry lobbying group are both praising a bill that passed the Ohio House that would streamline the process of capping some 600 old, unused wells that don’t have owners. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports they also want more money put toward that process.

Drilling Rig
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Since development of the Utica Shale play began in 2010, Ohio property owners have be paid an estimated $2 billion in bonuses for signing drilling leases.  After seven years, with many leases expiring, some -- but not all -- of those owners may get paid again. 


Despite the drop in oil and gas production, graduates of Stark State College’s petroleum industry training program are  finding jobs quickly.

Since the two-year program started in 2013, 46 students have graduated with skills in maintaining oil-and-gas-production facilities. The dean of engineering technology, Donald Ball, says all of them are employed because the program does not focus on drilling, where the jobs are susceptible to market fluctuations.

photo of Gov. Kasich's oil and gas drilling executive order

Ohio is rolling out a new response system in the case of oil and gas drilling emergencies. 

Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order creating a 24/7 emergency hotline for oil and gas companies.

Calling the number is a one-stop-shop that will connect the drilling operation with state services from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to the Environmental Protection Agency to the State Fire Marshal.