According to a recent report released by the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and Energy in Depth, the Utica Shale continues to produce in paying quantities in eight fruitful Ohio counties. More specifically, Kallanish Energy detailed how these counties–Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Belmont, Jefferson, Noble, Guernsey and Monroe–saw $141.9 million from 2010 – 2017 thanks to property taxes generated by drilling. The counties with the most significant earnings over that time period were Harrison at $40.8 million, Monroe at $17.2 million, and Carroll at $34.6 million. In 2017 alone, Harrison County received $12.5 million, Belmont County received $8 million and Carroll County received $8.5 million. For energy insiders, these payouts mean great things for the future of oil and gas production in this asset, and as Matt Hammond, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association put it, “Those are exciting numbers.” Enthusiasm for local drilling continues to escalate, and comes not only from recent production, which has tripled shale drilling property taxes over the last few years (six Ohio counties received $43 million between 2010 and 2015), but from future projections, as well, since all eight producing Ohio Counties could collect an estimated $200 to $250 million between 2016 and 2026, according to Dan Alfaro of Energy in Depth.
Although drillers see an obvious benefit in production growth, local schools and municipalities also win, since up to 70 percent of the extra oil and gas income, taxed as real property under Ohio law, goes to schools. The amount drillers pay is determined by the state’s own formula, which goes to each county before being distributed to various schools and municipalities via ad valorem taxes that vary depending on local tax levies and millage totals. The data for each year is based on production totals from two years back; numbers for 2017 come from 2015. Although not every county sees a consistent tax increase (Carroll and Harrison counties’ tax collections dropped from 2016 to 2017), thanks to drillers looking elsewhere in eastern Ohio, overall production in the state has gone up. These numbers do not include production data from the Utica Shale in 2018 and 2019.