fracking

natural gas, fracking
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West Virginia and Statoil have agreed on a deal for natural gas and oil drilling under the Ohio River.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports that Norway-based Statoil plans to drill on about 474 acres of state-owned land under the river in Marshall and Wetzel counties.

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you that latest developments in the fracking Debate with both sides speaking out over New York’s decision to ban the horizontal drilling industry.

Adam Zyglis / The Buffalo News

  A new report released in the wake of New York State's decision to ban the horizontal gas drilling process known as fracking analyzes more than 100 scientific studies that have been approved and distributed by oil and gas industry representatives.


Antero Resources

Antero Resources plans to lay off more than 250 contract land brokers and focus on drilling.

Regional vice president Al Schopp tells The Exponent Telegram that the layoffs won't affect Antero's employees.

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is getting heaped with praise by environmentalists and scorn by business for a state ban on deep hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, even as he insists the decision wasn't his.

Before/After screen capture of the Mark West Plant, a major mid-stream gas processing plant that's in the middle of construction in Doddridge County.
WV Host Farms

Nuisance and negligence lawsuits have been filed this year throughout West Virginia related to horizontal drilling activities. Noise, air, and water pollution, traffic and debris are among complaints. It’s a new industrial world for many West Virginians living in the growing rural gas fields.  

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will move to prohibit fracking in the state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As lawmakers return to town this week for their final interim session of 2014, they'll learn more about a practice in the natural gas industry companies want them to approve through legislation: forced pooling.

Kevin Ellis, president of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, explained to lawmakers during a November meeting, when companies prepare to drill a well they create a giant rectangle of land parcels and then negotiate with each mineral owner within that rectangle for their gas rights.

By pooling these owners together, companies can drill a well and then pay out mineral owners proportionally by land acreage for the gas produced.

Govenor Earl Ray Tomblin received a petition with 3,820 signatures requesting he disallow horizontal drilling under the Ohio River.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) / Wikimedia Commons

  

West Virginia officials are unveiling offers to frack under wildlife conservation land in Tyler County.

On Friday in Charleston, the state Department of Commerce will publicly open bids for oil and natural gas rights under Conaway Run Wildlife Management Area.

The bid deadline on the 518 acres was Thursday. A 20-percent royalty on what's extracted is required.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State lawmakers were updated Monday morning on a study the Department of Environmental Protection began earlier this year. That study focuses on the level of radioactive material in drill cuttings from horizontal fracking sites.

The West Virginia DEP has tested 15 sites for levels of radioactivity in drilling waste. The test sites included Wetzel County’s landfill, an Ohio water treatment plant, and multiple drilling sites in counties in North Central West Virginia.

natural gas, fracking
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Energy companies are using more water and sand to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale in Marshall and Ohio counties.

A new report by research firm Wood Mackenzie says companies working in what's called the "wet gas window" of the two counties are using up to 10 million gallons of water for each project. They're also using 13 million pounds of sand.

Roxy Todd


On West Virginia Morning, reporter Catherine Moore attended the coal festival in Boone County to ask residents there what’s next for them after layoffs in the coal industry.  And Liz McCormick reports from Jefferson County where libraries are rallying for community support.

For State Impact Pennsylvania's report about natural gas drilling in state forests click here. 

Capital punishment is debated in Kentucky.

Coal camp communities are working to cope with dated water systems created by coal companies.

A farmer’s market is provides summer meals to children. 

Questioning Capital Punishment in Kentucky:  Mirroring a national trend, the debate over capital punishment continues to makes headlines in Kentucky. Earlier this month, the state legislature held the first public hearing testimony on the death penalty since it was reinstated in 1976. As Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador found that arguments for and against a bipartisan legislative effort to abolish capital punishment boil down to, in part, a moral quandary over vengeance versus forgiveness.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

An environmental watchdog non-profit just released a report identifying companies who are using diesel fuel in their horizontal drilling fluids. Apparently, that’s illegal without a special permit.


  The National Resources Defense Council is asking federal environmental officials to strip the state's authority over underground injection wells for fracking waste.

Council attorney Matthew McFeeley made the request in a letter Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator.

The letter says injections occurring at two West Virginia wells are illegal and unauthorized, and both have expired permits.

natural gas, fracking
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Federal energy experts say Marcellus Shale natural gas production has hit an all-time high.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that production from West Virginia and Pennsylvania totaled about 15 billion cubic feet per day in July. That's more than seven times the 2010 production.

The Marcellus Shale generally lies about a mile or more underground, and is the most productive natural gas field in the U.S. At current rates the total yearly production is the energy equivalent of about 800 million barrels of oil.

Press Release

A cross-country tour dedicated to spreading awareness about fracking is making its way to West Virginia with an interesting bonus.   

  Lawmakers decide to take more time to review bills, as they get called in for a special session. The Environmental Protection Agency's new regulations on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants will be released next week, leaving concerns for many in the industry. Also, a couple from Elkins who specialize in oral histories are taking a look at all sides of fracking. 

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