natural gas

Doddridge County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

West Virginia's natural gas counties are the winners and coalfield counties are the losers in the state's latest assessment of the value of properties owned by public utilities.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail  says a report presented to the Board of Public Works on Tuesday shows utility property values increased by 36 percent in Doddridge County in the past year. Ritchie and Tyler counties each saw a 16 percent increase, while property values in Taylor County rose by 9 percent.

pipeline construction
Emmuzka / wikimedia commons

Energy companies have formally filed with federal regulators to build a 300-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia through southern Virginia.

Mountain Valley Pipeline announced Friday it applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the pipeline from Wetzel County, West Virginia, to Pittsylvania County, located in Southside Virginia.

natural gas, fracking

Starett's Well Service has been acquired by Basin Energy Group.

Bridgeport-based Basin Energy says in a news release that Starett's is a specialty roustabout services firm focusing on well site and midstream natural gas infrastructure in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions.

Kanawha County
wikimedia / Wikimedia

At least one person was injured in West Virginia after a gas line exploded near Winfield.

Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

  Natural Gas Contractor Cenergy LLC celebrated an expansion Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Milton. 

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and other state officials took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the natural gas business based in Milton. Cenergy was founded in 2006 by Milton native Chuck King. In 2014 the company doubled in size and now once again is expanding its operations that will include approximately 170 employees. Governor Tomblin says it’s a great thing for the local economy.

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 (

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 (

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. 

The final two public comment hearings on Mountaineer Gas' proposed rate increase of more than $12.2 million will be held Tuesday in Charleston.

The first hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. the second for 6 p.m. at the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s Office on Brooks Street.

State regulators are investigating a pipeline fire at a drilling pad in Tyler County.

The fire occurred early Friday at Jay Bee Oil & Gas' Gorby Marcellus Shale drilling pad in the Big Run area.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Jake Glance says there was a rupture in the natural gas pipeline on the pad. He tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the fire burned for about an hour before it was extinguished.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A Preston County natural gas pipeline project that's expected to create 25 jobs is receiving a $250,000 state grant.

On Thursday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin visited the Allegheny Wood Products site in Hazelton to announce the grant.

The money will help extend a natural gas pipeline to the company. It's expected to help increase lumber production there by 50 percent, from 20 million board feet annually to 30 million board feet.

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 (

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.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Williams Energy and state regulators are investigating two natural gas pipeline ruptures that occurred within hours of each other in Marshall County.

Williams spokesman Helen Humphreys tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the company believes heavy rains were a contributing factor. She says the rains might have destabilized soils.


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.

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

Companies have bid millions of dollars to drill for oil and natural gas beneath several state-owned lands in West Virginia.

On Friday, the state Department of Commerce opened bids for Marcellus shale fracking under several tracts of land.

Antero ResourceFish s bid about $8,100 per acre, or $2.3 million total, for mineral rights under Jug Wildlife Management Area in Tyler County. Jay-Bee Production Company bid between $5,000 and about $16,300 per acre for different parts of the same land.

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.

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal levels pledge to work together to move their agendas forward.  And Governor Tomblin tells a classroom of third graders about the importance of STEM based learning. 

West Virginia Legislature

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Thursday he will lead a trade mission to Brazil next week to continue talks with two companies who plan to bring an ethane cracker to the state. 

Tomblin and members of the West Virginia Development Office will meet with executives from Odebrecht and Braskem while on the four day trip to the South American country, focusing on the next steps for Project ASCENT.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

  A state Department of Environmental Protection official says the installation of detectors is nearly complete at six West Virginia landfills that will accept low-level radioactive drilling waste from natural gas operations.

Legislation passed earlier this year required radiation monitoring of drill cuttings sent to landfills and overturned tonnage limits for those particular landfills.

natural gas, fracking

  Natural gas production in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle has soared as drilling has increased in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports that state data show natural gas production in Ohio County jumped from 84,000 cubic feet in 2011 to 22.6 billion cubic feet in 2013.

Wetzel County's production jumped from 9.6 billion cubic feet in 2009 to 114.7 billion cubic feet in 2013.