Injection well construction site spill under control

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — On Tuesday evening there was an unintended release of fluid associated with the drilling process at the Omni Energy Group’s site at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Ohio 331.

The New Jersey-based company is in the process of drilling two saltwater injection wells.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources released a statement Wednesday.

“Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management staff were onsite and immediately responded to the situation,” the emailed statement read.

“During cementing operations, a pump failure resulted in the release of an estimated 65 barrels of fluid onto the project site. Division staff instructed the operator to implement measures to contain and remove the free-standing fluid and to prevent further movement of fluids. Division Emergency Response staff along with the county inspector conducted field evaluation which showed there have been no environmental impacts off site.”

Since 2019 when Omni announced its intention to drill injection wells, there has been considerable opposition from county, township and municipal officials and numerous residents, who voiced concerns about the close proximity of homes, centers of education, county offices, the Belmont Correctional Institution, and major routes of traffic.

Early this year, ODNR approved drilling permits for the wells.

ODNR must also approve a permit to operate the wells.


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