We are pleased to bring you Volume 23 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Illinois, Ohio, and Wyoming. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate to ask.
Illinois – Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (S.B. 1715) into law on June 17th, creating a regulatory structure for horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the state. Gov. Quinn asserted that the bill will increase oil and gas production while maintaining environmental safeguards, and will create job opportunities in Southern Illinois. The law will make Illinois the first state to require hydraulic fracturing operations to submit pre- and post-fracturing chemical disclosures to the state, and to require pre and post-fracturing water testing. A baseline water test prior to hydraulic fracturing is required, and must be followed by tests six months, 18 months, and 30 months after operations have ended. Fluids will be required to be stored in above-ground closed tanks, rather than traditional pits. The law will also require a 30-day public comment period, a public hearing opportunity, and a 15-day follow-up public comment period.
Ohio – On June 12th, Vallourec Star held the dedication ceremony for its new $1.05 billion seamless pipe mill in the Mahoning Valley. The mill, which was first announced in February 2010, was built to manufacture small-diameter oil country tubular goods (OCTG) for use by oil and gas companies. Vallourec Star and a number of other companies have relocated to the Mahoning Valley to capitalize on Utica and Marcellus shale resources in the region. The mill’s first set of continuous production of pipe was completed in late October. Initial annual production capacity is 350,000 tons, with 350 workers employed when operating at full capacity.
Wyoming – Wyoming is expected to finalize a new rule by the end of 2013 requiring groundwater sampling before drilling. The rule would require all energy developers to submit a groundwater baseline sampling and monitoring plan when they apply for a permit to drill an oil, gas, or dedicated injection or monitoring well. The proposed rule was first introduced at a Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission meeting on June 11th, and the commission is now holding a series of public meetings about the proposed rule.