fracking

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

Antero Resources, an oil and gas company that operates in north central West Virginia, has announced intentions to build a wastewater treatment complex in Doddridge County to support its hydraulic fracturing efforts.

Antero signed an agreement with Veolia Water Technologies to build the facility. The company anticipates the complex with be able to treat 60,000 barrels of water per day.

The $275 million facility located off of Route 50 on Gum Run Rd. will allow Antero to clean flowback water used in the fracking process enough that it can be reused on other wells rather than disposed of in an injection well.

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

The West Virginia Royalty Owner’s Association will begin a round of public meetings across the state next week to talk about a piece of controversial legislation.

The meetings held across West Virginia will focus on forced pooling or lease unitization. It’s a practice in the natural gas industry where gas companies parcel of groups of land in an attempt to drill a well.

Under current state law, if a royalty owner refuses to sell their rights to the company, it can’t drill the gas well, but lawmakers attempted to change that during the last legislative session. 

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

New statistics show that production in the Northern Panhandle natural gas fields has nearly tripled in two years.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports that West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey statistics show drillers pumped nearly three times as much natural gas in the region during 2014 compared to 2012. 

University of Kentucky Geological Survey

Members of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition gathered the public Monday night in Westmoreland, near Huntington, to discuss the Rogersville Shale.

The forum was designed to inform the public of a newly discovered shale formation, the Rogersville Shale. The shale is concentrated in Calhoun, Roane, Jackson, Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln, Wayne and Cabell counties in West Virginia, but also extends into Kentucky. Dianne Bady is with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

Despite statements from industry officials and political leaders, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials say their new study of the nation's natural gas boom should not be described as proof the nation's water supplies are safe from hydraulic fracturing.

The Charleston Gazette reports the EPA's science adviser and deputy administrator Thomas A. Burke says the message of the report is that vulnerabilities in the water have been identified and they are important to know about and address to keep risks as low as possible.

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

The federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a report this week pertaining to the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The report comes after several years of analyzing literature and research, but findings were largely inconclusive.


  A new study of a radioactive, carcinogenic gas has grabbed the attention of news outlets and both pro and anti-fracking groups alike. The study published earlier this month says increases of radon gas in people’s homes in Pennsylvania coincide with the horizontal drilling boom. Some geological researchers in the region are skeptical while others aren’t at all surprised.


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

Despite recent announcements of layoffs in the industry, the state is reporting severance tax incomes from oil and gas have doubled since 2013.

A review by the West Virginia Department of Tax and Revenue and the State Treasurer’s Office shows companies paid $188.3 million in severance taxes in 2014. That’s compared to the $79.2 million collected in 2013.

Residual waste truck in Pennsylvania.
Iris Marie Bloom

  A new report was published this month that looks at how states are dealing with dangerous waste produced during shale gas development. Not well, according to the report.


Wendell Smith/Flickr

Here in Appalachia, it’s ramp season, and that means many small towns have their annual ramp feed to help raise money for their communities. This week we’ll travel to the Feast of the Ramson in Richwood, West Virginia, where we’ll meet 12-year-old ramp digger, Tyler McCune. And we’ll head to the Shenandoah Valley to hear a crowd of shape note singers. Although more and more people are leaving Appalachia, we will also hearing from some, like musician John Wyatt, who have returned home.

Provided

Consol Energy plans to lay off some 170 natural gas workers at locations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, according to industry blog Marcellus Drilling News.

Glynis Board / WVPB

When natural gas drillers use extreme pressures to drill and crack rocks thousands of feet underground - when they frack for natural gas, for example - sometimes nearby conventional gas wells will suddenly see production double, or triple. 

natural gas, fracking
wikimedia

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.

Pages