But with the risk of drilling through prior underground industrial work, potentially inadequately documented, new drilling must be all the more cautious as the Marcellus and Utica Shale extraction continues to boom in the eastern and southeastern counties of Ohio.
That’s why James McGee, drilling superintendent at an Ascent pad in Richland Township lights up when asked what measures are now taken to safely get in the ground, thousands of feet below the surface, and extract natural gas while protecting local drinking water tables.
“Everything we do is documented, we GPS-track every movement of our drill through the earth, and every layer we drill is cemented until well below the water table,” said McGee. “Everything we’re putting in the ground (when drilling) comes from Mother Nature, the bentonite and barite — are just finely ground rocks, the diesel comes from the ground, the water we use is cleaner than drinking water.”
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