WV Announces New $350M Methanol Plant in Pleasants County


Some exciting news to share! A company called West Virginia Methanol Inc. has selected a site in Pleasants County, WV to develop to build a $350 million methanol plant. Methanol plants convert natural gas into methanol, used as a chemical feedstock (raw material) to create other things, like gasoline, antifreeze, plastic bottles–even LED and LCD screens. Methanol plants use a LOT of natural gas.
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WV DEP Fines Antero Resources $93K for “Pollution” of Streams

The West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection has gotten a signed consent order from Antero Resources assessing a fine of $93,000 on the company for “pollution” of waterways in several WV counties related to installing pipelines. So says a single Associated Press article. We can find nothing about this story from another other news source than the AP. Not on the WV DEP website. Not on Antero’s website. We scoured the web. We scoured our own MDN archives. Nada. Just a single AP story currently running in dozens of newspapers and in other media outlets/websites across the country. Here is the entire, very brief AP story with sparse details…
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WV Receives 4 Bids to Drill Under the Ohio River

West Virginia doesn’t let any grass grow under their feet when it comes to the drilling industry. They are pro-drilling, by and large, and when they get an idea, they run with it. Latest example: Barely a month ago WV officials announced they will lease the land under portions of the Ohio River, to allow Marcellus/Utica drilling (see State of WV Looks to Lease Area Under Ohio River for Drilling). Last Friday they opened bids from four different drillers. Here’s what they found…
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State of WV Looks to Lease Area Under Ohio River for Drilling

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is a pro-drilling Democrat–an unusual occurrence. In fact, Tomblin is so pro-drilling, he’s looking to lease the land underneath the Ohio River for drilling! That’s sure to give the nutters in the WV Sierra Club heartburn. The governor and his Commerce Secretary, Keith Burdette, have published an official notice seeking bids from drillers. Tomblin and Burdette want a signing bonus AND a hefty royalty to boot. Although a target per-acre bonus amount has not been specified, Tomblin has publicly stated he’d like to see a 20% royalty on any such under-the-river leases…
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Drilling Creeps Southward According to WV County Clerks

The land records room at the Wood County, WV Courthouse has not seen a lot of oil and gas lease research–yet. But that may change. When the records room for a given county starts to be overrun with researchers, that’s a sure sign that Marcellus (or Utica) Shale drilling is on the way. The very first thing that happens is researchers must locate who owns a given property, and then landmen head into the field to get them to sign a lease. So when a land records rooms becomes congested, you know it’s not long until leases are signed and drilling begins.

Woods County Clerk Mark Rhodes says he’s been told researchers have descended on neighboring Pleasants County (northeast of Woods) and that the crowd of researchers in Pleasants will migrate south to Woods in about six months. Here’s an inside look at the challenges faced in tracking down who owns the mineral rights for a given piece of property–especially in WV where mineral rights were severed from surface rights for many landowners years ago…
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