Oil & Gas

Department of Environmental Protection

The latest figures from the Department of Environmental Protection indicate that there are upwards of 400 horizontal well pads in West Virginia. Sounds pretty straight-forward. What does that mean? How many more will there be?

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.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley wants Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to limit regulation on small oil and gas operators in a law responding to a January chemical spill.

In a July 9 letter, Miley said small, non-Marcellus Shale wells are in "survival mode" and should be exempt from new aboveground tank inspections and registrations.

He says inspections could cost $2,000 per well annually.

Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Environmental Quality Board is reviewing an order issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection that revokes a waste disposal permit. Attorney Tom Rist is representing groups concerned about Danny Webb Construction's waste disposal operation in Fayette County.


Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Danny Webb Construction began shutting down above ground pits last month in Fayette County that held oil and gas waste. The waste likely came from horizontal drilling operations.

In a more recent development, the DEP says a tank that was holding some of that waste, leaked during the process, but was cleaned up.

Concerned citizens have been expressing concerns with this particular operation for years.

Environmental groups ran some tests last year and while results have turned up inconclusive, it still raised red flags.


Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says materials from a pit holding waste of the oil and gas industry, including fracking waste, is being taken to the Raleigh County landfill. The DEP says work is underway to reclaim above ground waste pits months after the state agency ordered it shut down.

The pits were used to remove sediments from the oil and gas waste before injecting underground.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Marshall County's slice of the state oil and gas severance tax is growing.

County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the county's severance tax revenue increased from $71,161 in fiscal 2011 to $429,810 in fiscal 2013.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has ordered a permit for an underground injection well in Fayette County to be revoked.

The DEP renewed the permit for a class two (UIC), or underground injection control disposal well owned by Danny Webb Construction on February 6.

The permit allows the company to accept fluids from oil and gas exploration, development drilling, and production fluids for another five years. 

Bill Hughes

A bill to regulate the disposal of waste produced by gas-well drilling will likely be introduced by the governor in a special session.
 
Lawmakers who negotiated a version both sides could agree on were unable to get the measure passed before midnight Saturday, the deadline for the regular session.

27-year old Ian McKee of Morgantown has been identified as the missing and feared-dead employee from the recent Greene County gas well explosion.

McKee was an employee of Cameron International, a contractor to Chevron, and his friends say he was onsite when the gas well exploded last week.

McKee and much of his immediate family are from Warren, Pa.

Initially, the Pennsylvania State Police set up a two-mile perimeter around the burning gas well. Then, the Wild Well Control crew from Houston, Texas, couldn’t get closer than a half mile because of the heat.

The House Judiciary Committee heard thoughts and concerns during a public hearing over a piece of pending legislation: HB4411 - allowing the disposal of drill cuttings and associated drilling waste generated from fracking sites in commercial solid waste facilities.

Some History:

Some Recent History:

State-Wide Concern:

Some Science:

The Advocate:

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislature

A state Senate committee has approved a proposal to invest some of West Virginia's oil and natural gas revenues for future infrastructure and economic development.

Wikimedia Commons

Water: It flows through our very blood, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells. It flushes waste from our bodies, cushions our joints and allows us to digest and absorb food. The average adult human body is about 60 percent water. Perhaps it’s not surprising that so many are still offended and disturbed by the water crisis in the Kanawha Valley—“Kanawha” which, by the way, means “water way.”

Ashton Marra

Senate President Jeff Kessler introduced his Future Fund legislation into the Senate Friday. The proposal this year, however, is slightly different from years past.

Senate Bill 461 creates the statutory framework for the fund:

-Provides 25 percent of any revenues collected from oil and gas severance taxes over and above $175 million be automatically placed in Future Fund, up from $70 million baseline proposed last year

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