Antis Give Up Trying to Pass Setbacks in This Yr’s WV Legislature

Thank God anti fossil fuelers are throwing in the towel in West Virginia–at least for this year–in their never-ending campaign to stop shale drilling in the state. A recent article appearing in the biased ProPublica and Charleston Gazette-Mail highlights antis’ frustration in not getting their bills to advance in this year’s legislative session–a session that is rapidly coming to a close.
Continue reading

WV Orphan Well Bills Quickly Advance in Legislature

Yesterday we told you that the West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization (SORO) is pushing a couple of bills to address the issue of abandoned and orphan wells (see WV Surface Rights Group Wants State to Enforce Plugging Old Wells). While the bills SORO is promoting have not advanced, several other bills in the WV legislature addressing the same issue have advanced. Rapidly.
Continue reading

WV Surface Rights Group Wants State to Enforce Plugging Old Wells

The West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization (SORO) says WV has a serious problem. Drillers are not plugging old/non-producing wells (most of them conventional). In fact, SORO says there are some 4,500 wells that have been unplugged for so long, they are considered “orphaned”–the original driller is long gone, out of business, and there’s nobody around to do the plugging. Something’s got to change.
Continue reading

FERC Says More of Mountaineer XPress Pipeline OK to Start Up

In January the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave permission to TransCanada’s Columbia Pipeline group to start up a portion of the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline in West Virginia (see FERC OK’s Mountaineer XPress Pipe to Start Up in WV). Yesterday FERC gave Columbia permission to start up a wee bit more of the project.
Continue reading

EQT Settles WV Class Action Royalty Lawsuit for $53.5M

In 2013 some 10,000 West Virginia landowners/rights owners filed a class action lawsuit against EQT over their practice of post-production deductions from royalty checks. The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial last November, but at the last minute, it didn’t. Word leaked that EQT had settled out of court (see EQT Avoids Trial, Settles WV Class Action re Royalty Deductions). Since that time we haven’t heard a peep–until this morning when EQT announced the terms of a “tentative” settlement.
Continue reading

New “Report” Attacks WV Shale, Advocates 10% Severance Tax

A partisan left-wing group calling itself the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy along with another partisan left-wing group called the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) released a report last week that claims WV’s shale industry has “fallen short” in delivering on economic promises, and the way to fix it is to boost the severance tax from 5% to 10%! Yeah, they’re out of their collectivist minds.
Continue reading

WV Sen. Manchin Supports Marcellus/Utica, Rejects “Green New Deal”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin

Let’s be honest. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (Democrat) is a swamp dweller–an establishment guy who, when it really counts, votes with his own sleazy party against the best wishes of the United States (he’s done it multiple times). However, Manchin is one of the better Democrats in Congress when it comes to energy issues.
Continue reading

WV Bill Would Let Utilities Pay Producers to Drill New Gas Wells

The West Virginia House Energy Committee passed a bill yesterday that appears to be picking up steam and possibly headed for approval by both the House and Senate. It’s an interesting bill that allows local natural gas utilities to pay drillers to drill new gas wells in areas where there is not a reliably sufficient supply of gas.
Continue reading

Plugging Orphan O&G Wells May Economically Hurt WV Counties

MDN previously reported on efforts in both Ohio and Pennsylvania to plug orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells (all of them conventional/vertical wells), which present a health and safety issue. It’s all too easy to hit one of these old wells when drilling a new horizontal shale well. In WV, a new effort to plug old wells is causing concern for some–that the effort to plug old wells may inflict economic damage on WV counties. Huh?!
Continue reading

O&G Opposes Plan to Raise WV Severance Tax to Fix Roads

We didn’t think it would take long for the oil and gas industry to push back against efforts to raise the state’s severance tax from 5% to 6% and use the “extra” money to fix secondary roads in the state (see WV Republican Senator Wants 6% Severance Tax to Fix Roads). What we didn’t know about (until now) is that a second such bill was introduced in the House by a Democrat, the second bill raising the severance tax by 50% to 7.5%! Talk about nuts!!
Continue reading

NatGas Boom in WV Leads to Prison Guard Shortage – Who Knew?

Credit: Detroit Free Press

This is one of those offbeat kinds of stories that catches our interest and makes us smile. It seems that because the Marcellus/Utica Shale industry pays so darned well in the northwestern part of WV (where drilling happens), prisons and local jails in that region just can’t compete for qualified candidates–they can’t find new prison guards to work at a MUCH lower pay rate.
Continue reading

FERC OK’s Mountaineer XPress Pipe to Start Up in WV

click for larger version

In December, Columbia Pipeline asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start up an additional section of its Mountaineer XPress Pipeline in West Virginia (see Columbia Asks FERC to Start Up 2/3rds of Mountaineer XPress Pipe). The good news is that on Wednesday, FERC said yes.
Continue reading