In 2011, 33 shale wells were drilled in Ohio. In comparison, more than 500 permits were approved last year to drill horizontal wells in Ohio's Marcellus and Utica shale formations, according to the state's Department of Natural Resources. And by 2015, the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program expects that about 4,000 new shale wells will be drilled in eastern Ohio. A report from Cleveland State University, Ohio State University and Marietta College, meanwhile, predicts that increased shale well activity will create close to 66,000 new jobs in the state's oil and gas sector and grow its economy by nearly $5 billion.
A frac sand mining company that was turned down by Jackson County, Wisc., to start an operation in the town of Franklin, has its eyes on a new site in the town of Alma. Coulee Frac Sand LLC, whose proposal for the Franklin operation sparked controversy among town residents, has submitted a plan to potentially mine 50 acres in Alma, an unzoned town, according to its reclamation plan submitted to Jackson County last week. “We’re always looking for good sand,” said Coulee Frac co-owner Jon Sopher, as reported by the Jackson County Chronicle. Sopher wouldn’t provide details about the newly proposed mining site, but Jackson County Conservationist Gaylord Olson II said it appears the site would serve as a dig-and-haul operation and return to its current status as an agricultural field after approximately five or six years of mining.
A Texas-based company that withdrew its application for a frac sand mine in St. Croix County, Texas, last summer is again asking for a special exception permit to open a mine, according to the River Falls Journal. Vista LLC submitted its second application to mine on about 500 acres in the Town of Glenwood, just south of Glenwood City, said Alex Blackburn, a county land use specialist. The property is now zoned agricultural-residential and falls under county zoning, which requires a special exception permit for non-metallic mining. Last summer Vista submitted its first permit application for the property but withdrew it when county staff found deficiencies.