Quick Geo Facts

Utica Shale Facts


  • A few thousand feet below the Marcellus Shale formation
  • Parts of Pennsylvania are over 10,000feet below sea level
  • Parts of Eastern Ohio are between 2,000 and 7,000 feet below sea level


  • 100 - 500 feet


  • Formed during the Middle Ordovician Age
  • 470 million years ago

For more information on Utica Shale click here

Utica Shale

Typical Composition of Natural Gas
70 - 90%
0 - 20%
0 - 20%
0 - 20%
Carbon Dioxide
0 - 8%
0 - 0.2%
0 - 5%
Hydrogen Sulphide
0 - 5%
Rare Gases
A, He, Ne, Xe

Natural Gas Facts

What is Natural Gas?

  • Combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases (Mostly methane)
  • Colorless and oderless
  • Odorant called Mercaptan ("rotten egg" smell) is added to the gas to make it easier to detect leaks

How is natural gas formed?

  • Natural gas is a fossil fuel
  • Made from the remains of plants and animals that have been compressed under the Earth
  • Extreme heat and pressure forms the natural gas
  • Biomass made primarily from plant material and very high heat produced natural gas

For more information on natural gas click here

Earthquake Facts

Richter Scale

  • The largest fracking induced earthquake recorded was a 3.6 on the Richter scale
  • The increase in wave amplitude increases 10x each time the whole number increases one level
  • A level 2 earthquake has 10 times greater wave amplitude than a level 1 earthquake
  • A level 7 earthquake has 100 times greater wave amplitude than a level 5 earthquake

For more information on earthquakes click here

Magnitude Earthquake Effects Estimated Number Each Year
2.5 or less Usually not felt, but can be recorded by seismograph 900,000
2.5 to 5.4 Often felt, but only causes minor damage 30,000
5.5 to 6.0 Slight damage to buildings and other structures 500
6.1 to 6.9 May cause a lot of damage in very populated areas 100
7.0 to 7.9 Major earthquake. Serious damage 20
8.0 or greater Great earthquake. Can totally destroy communities near epicenter One every 5 to 10 years

Drilling Facts

  • Ohio EPA fact sheet about Marcellus and Utica shale drilling (click here)

  • Chesapeake drilling video (click here)

  • Chesapeake fracking video (click here)

  • EPA page to report environmental violations (click here)

    Use this page to report what appears to you as a possible violation of environmental laws and regulations. Information you submit will be forwarded to EPA environmental enforcement personnel or to the appropriate regulatory authority

Ohio Government Regulations

House Bill 278 (2004)

  • Gave Ohio Department of Natural Resources sole authority to regulate oil and gas wells
  • Local governments no longer have any authority over placement or permitting of wells

Senate Bill 165 (2010)

  • Some release of fracking fluids information
  • Updated permitting fees
  • Noise pollution and land use protections

Senate Bill 315 (2012)

  • Requires free water testing of local water supplies within 1500 feet of a proposed wellhead
  • Requires disclosure of chemicals used in the drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes
  • Requires well operators to include the source of water, along with the rate and volume required when applying for a permit
  • Encourages well operators to enter into a Road Use Maintenance

Agreement (RUMA) with the local government

  • Responsibility of well operators to contruct and repair roads
  • Creates designated travel routes for heavy equipment movement to minimize damage and ensure safety