Ohio Panel To Review Rules On Gas Wells And Drilling

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A state legislative panel in Ohio is preparing to consider updated rules from the state's natural resources agency on horizontal oil and gas drilling.

A rule-setting committee will meet Monday to debate rules related to drilling permits, well construction and industry standards amid an Ohio fracking boom in the Utica and Marcellus shale formations.

State natural resources director James Zehringer sent a letter Friday assuring 1,500 traditional oil and gas producers the technical rules would be both environmentally safe and business-friendly.

If the rules clear the committee, the earliest they could take effect is May 28. The natural resources agency would decide the effective date.

Zehringer's letter also told smaller producers that a severance tax increase proposed by Republican Gov. John Kasich probably would not apply to them.