Seismic mapping for natural gas ongoing in Portage County

By Kyle McDonald | Staff Writer Published:

Seismic testing to search for and map natural gas beneath the ground for future drilling is happening throughout Portage County, and now stretches along most of S.R. 43, heading south from the Twin Lakes area, through Kent, Brimfield and Suffield and into Stark County.

Kent residents began asking questions Thursday, noticing a long orange cable, connected to metal seismic activity monitors strung through downtown Kent and across driveways, lawns and intersections that continues for miles.

The work along S.R. 43 is being carried out by Precision Geophysical, Inc., a Millersburg company that maps the data throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and New York, according to the company's website. The process uses large trucks that carry Enviro-Vibes sounding equipment, which sends pulses into the ground that are read by the roadside monitoring equipment.

"The process provides data that is used by geophysicists to determine the best location for drilling natural gas wells," Kent Service Director Gene Roberts said.

Precision Geophysical is not testing within Kent's city limits however, as the city determined that a bond requirement of $2.25 million would be necessary to insure the value of Kent's S.R. 43 pavement. S.R. 43 runs along South Water and North Mantua streets. The bond requirement was deemed too high by Precision Geophysical, according to an email sent by Roberts to city officials when the company sought a permit.

"The bond is to protect the city's pavement," Roberts said, explaining that the pulses sent out by the Enviro-Vibes equipment can potentially to damage it.

Portage County Engineer Michael Marozzi said the work has been carried out by similar companies throughout Portage County for about half a year now.

"They've done a tremendous amount of this testing. From what we know, they've strung lines all over Portage County," Marozzi said, noting that his department only issues permits for the jobs on county roads.

Brent Kovacs, a public information officer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, which issues permits for the right-of-way use for such activity on state routes, said the work is now common in Northeastern Ohio counties that sit above the Marcellus and Utica shale formations that house natural gas deposits.

"I would say it's normal in the counties that they're looking to do the fracking in," he said.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1127 or kmcdonald@recordpub.com

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.

  • It's Fracking. My cousin's farm in Pa. has bad well water, horrible noise 24/7 from equipment and it will go on for years. They aren't on her farm. It's the neighbor.

  • They were on Route 43 at the turnpike friday.

  • Instead of raising utilities rates and raising the income taxes why not use the God given minerals such as natural gas and oil resting under Kent? I know the shameful answer, Kent has way too many Earth Worshipers and Atheist Environuts who place junk science and scare tactics in the way of a proven resource, which also happens to generate serious money for the property owners. Kent has abundant City owned land available for Gas and Oil drilling which would provide a huge amount of added revenue. This money could be immediately available to build a new police station and the available gas could easily power the city owned vehicles with free fuel. The city could even provide cheap fuel to the schools and PARTA for additional income. The City could heat and power its water and sewer plants for free and sell gas to KSU for their power plant. Why not put the city parks to a better use then bird watching and pot smoking. Drill for oil and gas! All this just makes too much sense after all it is just easier to raise taxes and whine to the citizens for more money.

  • Instead of raising utilities rates and raising the income taxes why not use the God given minerals such as natural gas and oil resting under Kent? I know the shameful answer, Kent has way too many Earth Worshipers and Atheist Environuts who place junk science and scare tactics in the way of a proven resource, which also happens to generate serious money for the property owners. Kent has abundant City owned land available for Gas and Oil drilling which would provide a huge amount of added revenue. This money could be immediately available to build a new police station and the available gas could easily power the city owned vehicles with free fuel. The city could even provide cheap fuel to the schools and PARTA for additional income. The City could heat and power its water and sewer plants for free and sell gas to KSU for their power plant. Why not put the city parks to a better use then bird watching and pot smoking. Drill for oil and gas! All this just makes too much sense after all it is just easier to raise taxes and whine to the citizens for more money.

  • Frack baby frack!