Lewis County, WV: Pipelines, Drilling Elsewhere Boost Local Economy

Lewis County, WV is not the first county you think of when it comes to the Marcellus/Utica Shale. While Lewis shares a border with the highly drilled Doddridge County, there have been very few shale wells drilled in Lewis. Perhaps we should say there’s been very few permits to drill shale wells in Lewis–we’re not 100% sure if any wells have actually been drilled. But no matter. Lewis has, in the past, benefited greatly from the shale industry. A number of companies are located in Lewis that serve the shale industry, providing jobs for Lewis residents. And pipelines are scheduled to cut through the county–both the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline. Those two projects alone have the potential to employ hundreds of Lewis County residents. A recent report from the WV Bureau of Business & Economic Research says some 2,000 Lewis County residents (16% of the working population) are employed by natural resources and mining. That number will grow 2% a year for the next five years. In other words, counties like Lewis don’t have to have shale wells drilled to see enormous economic benefits from the shale industry…

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