Unfortunately, it looks like Virginia is joining Maryland in hanging out the “do not drill here” sign for Marcellus Shale gas drillers.
Carrizo Oil and Gas had every reason to believe this rustic town [Bergton, VA] in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains was an ideal place to build Virginia’s first well to explore for natural gas in the state’s Marcellus Shale.
Carrizo liked Bergton’s location — eight miles from the West Virginia border, not far from where other operations are extracting gas. Carrizo bet that gas was locked in the shale under the town and put up tens of thousands of dollars for landowner leases as collateral.
All it needed to start the job was a special land-use permit from the four Republicans and one Democrat on Rockingham County’s Board of Supervisors.
Carrizo didn’t even come close. Concerned about controversial drilling methods, the supervisors never voted on the permit, and recently the company shelved its application following a two-year pursuit, ending its immediate hopes of exploring for gas.*
*Washington Post (Feb 5, 2012) – With deep concerns over fracking, a Va. county says no to more gas drilling