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Washington County oil and gas production low

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association 2019 update to local natural gas and oil production’s correlation with ad valorem tax dispersal left out low-production counties like Washington and Morgan.

“It makes sense when production comparatively is so low in Washington County we’re seeing decimals by comparison,” said Washington County Auditor Matthew Livengood.

But there was still the production of both mineral resources in surrounding counties, however minimal.

And county auditors across southeastern Ohio are looking to dive deeper into where those fluctuating production tax dollars go.

“I know there has been an increase in the money, but we go up and down all the time, so you still have to watch how much you budget for,” said Noble County Auditor Peggy Davis. “I’ll be interested to see how much came in since the schools do get the majority of it.”

The county auditors work in tandem with production numbers reported by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and taxable values submitted by the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Locally, two of the four counties saw upticks in production in recent years and have continued that upward momentum in production–though 2018 taxes have not yet been paid.

“We just got the production information from last year not long ago,” explained Davis. “It takes a little longer to assess.”

Noble and Monroe counties saw their upward trends in both oil and gas production spike property taxes on those barrels of oil and cubic feet of natural gas produced range between $4 million and $7 million in taxes paid 2016-2017.

Last year, numbers available through the ODNR database show production in local counties stayed consistent with the OOGA report of 2016-2017.

• In Monroe County, 308 wells in production produced 289,272 barrels of oil and 542,456,107 mcf of natural gas.

• In Noble County, 164 wells in production produced 1,614,508 barrels of oil and 113,447,742 mcf of natural gas.

• In Washington County, 11 wells in production produced 90,268 barrels of oil and 4,679,948 mcf of natural gas.

• In Morgan County, two wells in production produced 10,159 barrels of oil and 194,328 mcf of natural gas.

Comparatively, Washington and Morgan counties have not breached the same production thresholds to warrant alarm by county auditors.

“(Davis) is exactly right,” said Livengood. “The numbers are so fluid, you don’t want to rely on them in budgeting.”

Livengood did point out though that ad valorem taxes don’t take into account the full financial impact of the oil and gas industry locally–noting public utilities produced off of natural gas are taxed differently, as are hotels and motels with the transient guest tax.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

By the numbers:

In 2018:

• 308 wells in production in Monroe County produced 289,272 barrels of oil and 542,456,107 mcf of natural gas.

• 164 wells in production in Noble County produced 1,614,508 barrels of oil and 113,447,742 mcf of natural gas.

• 11 wells in production in Washington County produced 90,268 barrels of oil and 4,679,948 mcf of natural gas.

• Two wells in production in Morgan County produced 10,159 barrels of oil and 194,328 mcf of natural gas.

Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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