The 2021 Babst Calland Report Highlights Legal and Regulatory Perspectives at a Transformational Time for the U.S. Energy Industry

A Recent Conversation with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin Featured in this Report Law firm Babst Calland today published its 11th annual energy industry report: The 2021 Babst Calland Report – Legal & Regulatory Perspectives for the U.S. Energy Industry(…)

The Babst Calland Report Highlights Legal and Regulatory Challenges for the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry

The law firm of Babst Calland published its 10th annual energy industry report: The 2020 Babst Calland Report – The U.S. Oil & Gas Industry: Federal, State, Local Challenges & Opportunities; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and M(…)

West Virginia Supreme Court Affirms Approach in Oil and Gas Title Memorandum Decision

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently issued a memorandum opinion interpreting a reservation of oil and gas “royalty.” The result of the Court’s holding is consistent with long standing West Virginia case law regarding oil and gas sev(…)

Legislative Update: House Bill No. 4615 Regarding Criminal Offense of Trespass Upon Critical Infrastructure Facility Awaiting West Virginia Governor’s Signature

A bill establishing the West Virginia Critical Infrastructure Protection Act is now awaiting Governor Jim Justice’s signature after completing legislative action. If signed by West Virginia’s Governor, the bill will be effective June 5, 2020. The bill(…)

Legislative Update: Senate Bill 554 Regarding Release of Oil and Gas Leases Awaiting West Virginia Governor’s Signature

The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill requiring that a lessee deliver to the lessor, at no cost to the lessor, a properly executed and notarized release of a terminated, expired, or cancelled lease in recordable form within 60 days after the(…)

Legislative Update: West Virginia Governor Signs House Bill No. 4091 into Law

On February 17, 2020, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed into law House Bill 4091, allowing for expedited oil and gas well permitting for horizontal wells. Under the bill, which amends W. Va. Code § 22-6A-7, operators may pay an additional fee(…)

The 2019 Babst Calland Report Highlights Federal, State and Local Challenges and Opportunities for the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry

The law firm of Babst Calland today released its annual energy industry report: The 2019 Babst Calland Report – The U.S. Oil and Gas Industry: Federal, State and Local Challenges & Opportunities; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and(…)

Alert: Federal Court Enjoins West Virginia County from Using Zoning Laws to Interfere with Construction of Compressor Station

On August 29, 2018, the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) summary judgment and permanently enjoining the County Commission of Fayette C(…)

The 2018 Babst Calland Report Focuses on the Appalachian Basin Oil & Gas Industry Forging Ahead Despite Obstacles

Babst Calland today released its annual energy industry report: The 2018 Babst Calland Report – Appalachian Basin Oil & Gas Industry: Forging Ahead Despite Obstacles; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and Midstream Operators.  This an(…)

Governor Justice Signs Bill Prohibiting Deduction of Post-Production Costs from Converted Flat-Rate Leases

Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 360 relating to payment of royalties pursuant to flat-rate oil and gas leases on Friday, March 9, 2018. The law is effective on May 31, 2018. Previously, West Virginia law prohibited the issuance of permits for(…)

Employment & Labor Alert: Wage Hour Division Announces PAID Program to Assist with FLSA Compliance

On March 6, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (WHD) announced a new pilot program, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which is intended to encourage employers to identify and correct potentially(…)

Co-Tenancy Bill Signed by Governor Jim Justice

On Friday, March 9, 2018, Governor Jim Justice signed West Virginia Senate  HB 4268, known as the “Cotenancy Modernization and Majority Protection Act” into law, effective July 1, 2018.  As discussed in our post from last week, the passage of this leg(…)

WV Senate and House Pass Co-Tenancy Bill, Awaits Governor’s Signature

Today, the West Virginia Senate passed HB 4268, popularly known as the “co-tenancy” bill.  Formally titled as the Co-tenancy Modernization and Majority Protection Act, the bill was designed to streamline the oil and gas leasing process and facilitate(…)

The 2017 Babst Calland Report Focuses on the Resurgence of the Appalachian Shale Gas Industry

On June 20, 2017, Babst Calland released its seventh annual energy industry report entitled The 2017 Babst Calland Report – Upstream, Midstream and Downstream: Resurgence of the Appalachian Shale Industry; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producer(…)

Leggett v. EQT Production Company Case Rejects Tawney Reasoning, Opens Door for Further Challenges to Imposed System of Post-Production Cost Calculations in WV

On May 26, 2017, in a suit styled Leggett v EQT Production Company, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issued majority and concurring (links to PDFs) opinions finding 4-1 that the use of the language “at the wellhead” in the Flat Rate Royalty(…)

Revised SB 576: Co-Tenancy and Lease Integration Bill Fails in West Virginia

Senate Bill 576 (SB 576), introduced in the West Virginia Senate to address the oil and natural gas industry’s effort to efficiently develop production of natural resources, died in the last week of the regular session of the West Virginia Legislature(…)

Revised SB 576: Yet Another Version of the Co-Tenancy and Lease Integration Bill Introduced in West Virginia

On March 23, 2017, a Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 576 (SB 576) was introduced to the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee that substantially rewrote the original version of the bill, which addressed the oil and natural gas industry’s effor(…)

SB 576: Revised Co-Tenancy and Lease Integration Legislation Introduced in West Virginia

On March 10, 2017, Senate Bill 576 (SB 576) was introduced in the West Virginia Senate to take the place of SB 244, which addressed the oil and natural gas industry’s effort to efficiently develop production of natural resources. Similar to SB 244, SB(…)

SB 244: Co-Tenancy and Joint Development Legislation Introduced in West Virginia

On February 10, 2017, Senate Bill 244 (SB 244) was introduced in the West Virginia Senate to address the oil and natural gas industry’s effort to efficiently develop production of natural resources. Sponsored by, among others, Senate President Mitch C(…)

West Virginia Supreme Court Ruling Potentially Impacts Use of Partition Statute

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently emphasized that a party seeking a partition of property by allotment or by sale under W. Va. Code §37-4-3 must strictly follow the prerequisites in the statute — but only those prerequisites. In B(…)

Court Invalidates Fayette County (W.Va.) Ordinance Banning Underground Injection Well

On June 10, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order invalidating those parts of a Fayette County (W.Va.) ordinance that prohibit the use of underground injection wells for the disp(…)

New WV Law Regarding Decedents’ Real Estate

On May 13, 2016, West Virginia Governor Early Ray Tomblin signed into law Senate Bill No. 702 which amends §44-8-1 of the Code of West Virginia dealing with the real estate of decedents.  Under this amended law, if a decedent devises the proceeds of t(…)

TransCanada to Buy Columbia Pipeline Group

According to a report by the Charleston Gazette-Mail, TransCanada will be purchasing Columbia Pipeline Group for $13 billion. TransCanada had previously proposed the Keystone XL pipeline, and owns more than 42,000 miles of pipeline in North America. (…)

Forced Pooling Bill Introduced in West Virginia

As reported by the Wheeling Intelligencer, for the fifth year out of the last six, pooling legislation has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates (HB 4426). A similar measure failed to pass in 2015 after a 49-49 vote on the final day(…)

West Virginia Senate Bill Would Eliminate Some Taxes for Natural Gas Producers

As reported by the Charleston Gazette-Mail  and Natural Gas Intelligence, the West Virginia Senate recently passed SB 419, which, if enacted, would eliminate certain volumetric fees that natural gas producers pay in addition to the state’s severance t(…)

Application for Mountain Valley Pipeline Filed with FERC

According to the Washington Observer-Reporter, a formal application for the Mountain Valley Pipeline was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) last week.  The pipeline will extend 301 miles and connect the shale gas fields of no(…)

Gov. Tomblin Forms the WV Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety

On July 9, 2015, Governor Tomblin announced the formation and appointment of members to the West Virginia Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety.  Publicized during Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address in early 2015, the Commission(…)

Intrastate Pipeline Under Construction in West Virginia reports that an intrastate pipeline is under construction in northern West Virginia. The Stonewall Gas Gathering pipeline will connect Doddridge and Harrison counties to the Columbia Transmission interstate pipeline that runs through Bra(…)

West Virginia Fair Pooling Bill Defeated on Last Day of Legislative Session

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, the last day of the West Virginia legislative session, the Fair Pooling bill (H.B. 2688) was defeated by a tie vote in the West Virginia House of Delegates.  The Fair Pooling bill, which we first discussed two weeks ago, w(…)

West Virginia House Approves Fair Pooling Bill

The West Virginia Fair Pooling bill, which we first described last week, has been approved in the West Virginia House of Delegates by a vote of 60-40.  In order to become law, the bill must be approved by the State Senate before March 14, when the leg(…)

West Virginia Fair Pooling Bill Making Headway in Legislature

A bill, HB2688, designed to allow oil and gas operators to create oil and gas production units without the express authority of all oil and gas owners within the unit boundary, is currently pending before the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee. (…)

W. Va. Permit Transfer Legislation Becomes Effective Law

As reported by the Charleston Gazette on February 4, 2015, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has signed legislation originally known as Senate Bill 280, which streamlines the transfer process of well work permits to eliminate a requirement that(…)

West Virginia DEP to Host and Livestream Meeting to Discuss Division of Air Quality’s New General Permit for Natural Gas Activities

The West Virginia Division of Air Quality will release a new general air quality permit, the G80-A, which will regulate air quality in regard to natural gas production, compressor and dehydration facilities.  On February 5, 2014, the DEP will host a m(…)

New Bids Submitted to Drill Under State Lands in West Virginia

As reported by Marcellus Drilling News and the Daily Reporter, the WV Department of Commerce, which is tasked with overseeing the state’s leasing program, opened another round of bids on Friday to lease state-owned lands for oil and gas operations.  J(…)

WV Senate Passes Permit Transfer Legislation

As reported by The State Journal, the West Virginia Senate has passed Senate Bill 280 (“SB 280”) which, if it becomes effective, would allow the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to transfer well work permits from o(…)

American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC Completes Executive Leadership Team

The Oil & Gas Financial Journal reported on January 14, 2015 that Jeffrey A. Fisher has been named CEO of newly created American Energy Appalachia Holdings, LLC (“AEA”).  AEA was recently created through the combination of American Energy Partners(…)

Gastar Successfully Defeats Twin Litigation Cases in Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. of Marshall County, West Virginia has dismissed the second in a pair of lawsuits aimed to restrict operator Gastar Exploration, Inc.’s ability to hydraulically fracture several wells in Marshall County, West Virginia.  Accor(…)

American Energy Partners, LP Affiliates Combining to Streamline E&P

American Energy Partners, LP (“AEP”) announced yesterday that its affiliates, American Energy-Utica, LLC (“AEU”) and American Energy – Marcellus, LLC (“AEM”) are combining in an all-stock transaction to form American Energy Appalachian Holdings, LLC ((…)

New Director of WV Division of Natural Resources Appointed

As reported by The State Journal, Robert A. Fala has been appointed to serve as the director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (“WVDNR”), effective January 1, 2015.  Fala was appointed by WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and will replace(…)

West Virginia University Announces Launch of Field Laboratory for the Long-Term Study of Shale Gas Production Operations

West Virginia University recently announced that it will be establishing the “Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory,” at a site in the Morgantown Industrial Park near the WVU campus.  The laboratory is being funded as part of a five-year,(…)

Mountaineer Keystone LLC finalizes acquisition of PDC Mountaineer LLC

As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times on October 15, 2014, Wexford-based Marcellus driller Mountaineer Keystone LLC has finalized its acquisition of joint-venture partner PDC Mountaineer LLC for a reported sale price of $500 million. PDC Mounta(…)

Southwestern Energy to Acquire 413,000 Acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy

Southwestern Energy Co. announced that it has signed a deal to acquire 413,000 net acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $5.375 billion, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times.  This acquisition includes 256 producing(…)

Magnum Hunter’s West Virginia “Monster Well” the Largest Utica Well Drilled to Date

As reported by Columbus Business First and NGI’s Shale Daily, Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation’s first Utica well in West Virginia has reported production of 46.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, thereby rendering the Stewart Winland 1300(…)

Spectra Energy Corporation and Northeast Utilities Propose $3 Billion “Access Northeast” Pipeline Expansion Project

As reported on, Spectra Energy Corporation, a Houston-based pipeline operator, and Northeast Utilities, a Connecticut-based utility provider, have partnered in proposing a $3 billion pipeline expansion that will increase natural gas supp(…)

WVDEP Releases Draft Rule Affecting Aboveground Storage Tanks

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has released a draft “Interpretative Rule” to implement certain inspection, certification, and spill prevention – response plan provisions of the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (AST Act) e(…)

West Virginia Officials Seeking Bids to Drill Under Ohio River

As reported by the West Virginia Press Association, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (“DNR”) is seeking bids for natural gas drilling on state-owned land under the Ohio River. A legal notice published on Friday, August 22 indicates that(…)

Four Veteran West Virginia Attorneys Join Babst Calland's Charleston Office as Shareholders

Veteran attorneys Timothy Miller from Robinson & McElwee, and Christopher ‘Kip” Power, Mychal Schulz and Robert Stonestreet from the Charleston office of Dinsmore & Shohl have joined forces with Babst Calland in providing senior-level legal co(…)

NGL Transloading Facility Opens in Parkersburg

Natural Gas Intelligence reports that a new truck-to-rail transloading facility owned by Denver-based Concord Energy LLC, has opened in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The facility is capable of handling more than 150,000 bbl of crude oil condensate and n(…)

American Energy Partners LP Acquiring WV Marcellus Acreage

The State Journal reports that American Energy – Marcellus LLC, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City based American Energy Partners LP, has agreed to acquire 48,000 leasehold acres in Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Tyler and Wetzel Counties in West Virginia fr(…)

Babst Calland Releases Fourth Annual Energy Industry Report

“The 2014 Babst Calland Report – Appalachian Shale Industry in Transition: Evolving Challenges for Producers and Midstream Operators” comments on key issues facing producers and midstream operators from a legal and regulatory perspective, including: G(…)

West Virginia Seeing Increased Utica Well Development in 2014

While Marcellus Shale gas continues to be developed in the area, West Virginia is also experiencing a Utica Shale boom in its northern counties. According to Natural Gas Intelligence, multiple operators are investing more capital and manpower into dev(…)

Natural Gas Fueled Powerplant Planned for Marshall County, West Virginia

Plans by Moundsville Power LLC to build a natural gas power plant were approved by members of the Marshall County Commission on April 22, 2014.  The proposed 549 megawatt natural gas power plant is considered the first “downstream” project of its kind(…)

Wood County, W. Va. Proposed Cracker Plant Takes Step Forward

As Reported by MetroNews on March 26, the proposed Wood County, West Virginia, petrochemical “Cracker” plant project, called Project Ascent, took a significant step forward on Wednesday with an announcement from Antero Resources that it would contribu(…)

Round Two of “Superload” Arrives at Williams Energy Oak Grove Site

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that a 130-foot, 255 ton de-ethanizer tower was scheduled to arrive at the Williams Energy Oak Grove site in Marshall County on Monday or Tuesday.  The tower is the second of three “Superload” installments being deliv(…)

West Virginia Future Fund Signed Into Law

The Future Fund Bill, which was passed by the House on February 25th, was signed into law by West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin on March 20th, reports the West Virginia Metro News.  As described in an earlier post on this blog, the Future Fund wi(…)

Advocates From PA, Ohio, West Virginia Urge Common Approach To Shale Gas Taxation

As reported by Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station, 90.5 WESA, three advocacy groups, Leaders of Policy Matters Ohio, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, sent a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pen(…)

West Virginia Future Fund Bill Passed by Legislature

As originally described in a post by Ben Milleville on February 25th, amended Senate Bill 461, known as The Future Fund Bill, has passed the Senate and now awaits ratification by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.  As the West Virginia State Journal reports,(…)

WVU College of Law Introduces Energy Law LL.M. Program to Begin Fall Semester

The West Virginia University College of Law is now offering a Master of Laws in Energy and Sustainable Development Law set to begin during the Fall Semester 2014.  With the addition of the one-year LL.M. program, the College of Law is focusing on West(…)

West Virginia Cracker Plant Could Have Multibillion Dollar Impact on State Economy

As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Times, the proposed ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia, could potentially have a multi-billion dollar positive effect on the state’s economy.  Emeritus Professor of Economics Tom S. Witt of West(…)

Natural Gas “Forced Pooling” Bill Currently Pending in the West Virginia Legislature

As reported in The Wheeling Intelligencer, the West Virginia Legislature continues to consider H.B. 4558 and S.B. 578, which would allow oil and gas producers to create production units through “Forced Pooling.”  If passed, such a law would allow natu(…)

West Virginia Senate Passes Future Fund Bill

The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 461, known as The Future Fund Bill, on February 21st.  The Bill, as described in an Associated Press story published in the Charleston Gazette, would create a new fund that would be financed by 2(…)

Proposed Bill to Allow Unlimited Drilling Waste in West Virginia Landfills

As reported in the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper, Senate Bill 474, introduced in the West Virginia Senate on Monday, February 3, would amend W. Va. Code § 22-15-8 to allow commercial waste facilities to accept drill cuttings and associated hydraulic f(…)

West Virginia State University Designs Energy Management Concentration to Support West Virginia’s Growing Natural Gas Industry

West Virginia State University has developed a new academic program designed to educate the next generation of oil and gas employees, developers, and industrialists in the Appalachian region.  WVSU now offers a Concentration in Energy Management assoc(…)

Charleston To See Opening of First CNG Vehicle Fueling Station

IGS CNG Services, in conjunction with other partners and Governor Tomblin’s office, announced that the grand opening of Charleston, West Virginia’s first compressed natural gas fueling station for vehicles will be held on January 28, 2014.  The fuelin(…)

West Virginia One Step Closer to Seeing a Cracker Plant Constructed

West Virginia’s Ohio River region is one step closer to seeing construction begin on a cracker plant in the Wood County area.  According to the Charleston Gazette, Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise, owned by Brazilian based Odebrecht, purchased the(…)

West Virginia Legislature Contemplates “Future Fund,” Creating Committee on Energy

West Virginia delegates outlined their agendas for the legislative session that began last week.  Among the items included in the agendas is a “future fund” that would be established with proceeds generated by the oil and gas industry in West Virginia(…)

CONSOL to Shift Focus to Natural Gas Production

On a conference call following the announcement of CONSOL Energy Inc.’s $3.5 billion sale of its longwall coal mines in West Virginia to Murray Energy, CONSOL President Nick DeIuliis stated that the deal would allow CONSOL to go from a coal company wi(…)

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Experiences Growth

Largely due to increased revenues from drilling permit fees, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has nearly doubled its staff in the last two years.  Metro News reports that the DEP cites this growth as allowing them to be m(…)

Workforce West Virginia Investment Council Reports Rise in Oil and Gas Employment

Workforce West Virginia Investment Council has released findings that cite a 20 percent jump in oil and gas industry employment last year, the West Virginia Gazette reports. During the same period, the average wage for workers in the industry has also(…)

GreenHunter Water to Open Frack Water Recycling Plant in Warwood, West Virginia reports that GreenHunter Water has obtained all of the permits necessary to begin removing old structures at a former oil service site in Warwood, West Virginia.  Development of the site for its frack water recycling plant could be finished(…)

WVU Extension Service Opens Oil and Gas Training Center

WVU’s Health and Safety Extension Division has announced the opening of a new Oil and Gas Training and Assistance Center to provide training and credentials to WV employees working in the oil and gas field.  The training center utilizes the knowledge(…)

New CNG Fueling Station Open in Bridgeport, WV

IGS Energy CNG Services (IGS) has opened its first compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in West Virginia, reports the State Journal.  IGS president Scott White stated that the Bridgeport, WV station is the first of three that are planned to se(…)

West Virginia Supreme Court Reverses Prior Ruling in Favor of Cabot

On September 26, 2013, in the case of Thornsbury v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (2013 W. Va. LEXIS 958), the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled that, although an oil and gas lease to Cabot affecting surface lands owned by Thornsbury c(…)

West Virginia Legislature Considers Gas Trust Fund

West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler is leading the drive to create an oil and natural gas trust fund named the “Future Fund” that would support education, economic development or tax relief decades from now, reports the Global Post.  Kessler r(…)

Dominion Begins Talks to Farm Out 100,000 Acres in West Virginia reports that Dominion has begun talks regarding farming out 100,000 acres in West Virginia in the Marcellus Shale located near Dominion’s gas storage assets near the Ohio and Pennsylvania borders.  Thomas Farrell, CEO of Dominion, indicated(…)

Fourth Circuit Upholds Chesapeake Ruling Regarding Waste Pits

On September 4, 2013, in the case of Whiteman v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L. L. C. (2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 18359 (4th Cir. W. va. 2013)), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a District Court ruling from the Northern District o(…)

GreenHunter Receives Approval for Frac-Water Recycling Facility in Wheeling

The Wheeling Planning Commission has approved plans of GreenHunter Resources, Inc. for a water recycling and barging facility to be constructed in Wheeling, WV.  The $1.7 million construction project, as reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times, is G(…)

West Virginia Air Quality not Endangered by Fracking

A report created by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas, which was anticipated pursuant to previous studies conducted by the DEP, indicates that no new rules are necessary to protect West Virginia’s air qua(…)

New CNG Fueling Stations Coming Online in West Virginia

The compressed natural gas (CNG) services company IGS Energy recently announced that its CNG fueling station in Bridgeport should be open by September 1st, and that it began construction on another station in Charleston on August 6th, the State Journa(…)

Natural Gas Drilling Operations Commence in West Virginia Wildlife Preserve

According to the Charleston Gazette, the Lewis Wetzel Wildlife Management Area in Wetzel County is now contains several natural gas drilling operations by various companies operating in the State of West Virginia.  The Lewis Wetzel Wildlife Management(…)

Meeting Set to Discuss Issues with Land Records Searches Overwhelming Tyler County, WV Courthouse

The Republic reports that a public meeting has been scheduled for July 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Tyler County courthouse to discuss issues with land records searches in the county.  Currently, only 16 people at one time are able to enter the records vaul(…)

Doddridge County, WV Well Site Explosion Triggers Investigation as to Cause reports that there was a recent explosion and fire at a well site in Doddridge County, West Virginia.  Kathy Cosco, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia DEP, indicated that the containment system around the well site properly prevented stor(…)

West Virginia’s New Horizontal Drilling Regulations Now In Effect

West Virginia natural gas operators saw a shift in the permitting and regulation process as new rules governing horizontal drilling went into effect on July 1, 2013.  Authorized by the West Virginia Legislature with its passage of the Horizontal Well(…)

West Virginia’s Highest Court Defines “Surface” for Conveyance Instruments

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, West Virginia’s highest court, recently overruled a point in the 1923 case of Ramage v. South Penn Oil Co. (W. Va.), which established that the term “surface” was presumptively ambiguous and always subject t(…)

WV Division of Highways and IOGAWV Present to Legislature on Road Use Issues

The State Journal reports that the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways (DOH), recently presented to state lawmakers regarding West Virginia roadway issues.  DOH showed pictures of roads in Ohio, Marshall and Ritchie Counti(…)

Ohio and West Virginia Defend Fracking in Letter to U.S. EPA

On Friday, June 7th, twelve energy-producing states, including Ohio and West Virginia, signed a letter to the EPA defending the industry practice of hydraulic fracturing. The letter was in response to recent threats to sue the EPA for not assuming reg(…)

Doddridge County, WV Floodplain Drilling Moratorium Lifted

The Exponent Telegram reports a moratorium on floodplain oil and gas drilling permits in Doddridge County, WV has been lifted.  The Doddridge County Commission voted 2-1 on June 4, 2013 to lift the moratorium, which had been in place since December 18(…)

MarkWest Energy Sells WV Natural Gas Gathering Facilities and Assets

MarkWest Energy is slated to sell some of its natural gas facilities in Doddridge County, West Virginia to Summit Midstream Partners in the coming days.  According to Platts McGraw Hill Financial, the $210 million transaction is anticipated to close t(…)

New Oil and Gas Training Center Announced

On May 29, 2013, WV Governor Ray Tomblin announced the establishment of the Appalachian Petroleum Technology Training Center, which will include joint programs hosted by West Virginia Northern Community College and Pierpont Community and Technical Col(…)

CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy Plan West Virginia Projects

The Clarksburg Exponent Telegram reports that CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy are planning projects located in Upshur and Barbour Counties, West Virginia.  CONE Gathering, which is a gas pipeline joint venture between the two companies, has secured the(…)

District Court Delays Submission of Reasonable Surface Use Issue to WVSCA

Last month District Court Judge Irene Keeley, sitting in the Northern District of West Virginia, sought to have the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (WVSCA) rule upon whether West Virginia law permits a natural gas producer to use a surface owne(…)

Benefits of Natural Gas Vehicles Touted at Conference in Charleston

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, both enthusiastic advocates for utilizing natural gas produced from the Appalachian basin to fuel natural gas vehicles (NGVs), sponsored the 2013 Appalachia(…)

Additional Agency Review Could Slow GreenHunter Progress at West Virginia Wastewater Processing Facility

The U.S. Coast Guard recently indicated that GreenHunter Water’s plan to transport brine from hydraulic fracturing via barges may undergo heightened scrutiny, with more federal agencies expected to weigh in on the matter.  In addition to the Coast Gua(…)

Columbia Gas Seeks FERC Approval for Two Appalachian Basin Pipeline Projects

On Friday, May 10, 2013, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia Gas) submitted applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the issuance of certificates of public convenience and necessity for a pair of natural gas pipeline pr(…)

West Virginia Oil and Gas Environmental Certifications Can Benefit Landowners

Journalist Pam Kasey suggested, in a print article in the West Virginia State Journal dated May 2, 2013, that while it is possible for a surface owner to attempt to insist that a driller become certified under new certification standards set by the Ce(…)

W.Va. Couple Lose Battle to Cancel Oil and Gas Lease in 4th Circuit Appeal

On May 7th the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of Martha and Charles Wellman and upheld the validity of a “legacy” oil and gas lease.  The lease provided for royalty payments on production and a flat-rate rental payment.  The mi(…)

WV Producer’s Operations Achieve ISO 14001 Certification

As profiled in an article by Pam Kasey in the West Virginia State Journal, Charleston-based Appalachian Basin natural gas operator Triana Energy, LLC has meet the stringent environmental standards required to achieve ISO 14001 certification.  To achie(…)

Natural Gas Industries Develop Certification Program to Promote Best Practices

As Pam Kasey explains in her May 2, 2013 article in the print edition of the West Virginia State Journal, the industry has voluntarily come together to be “good actors” in mineral development by incorporating input from oil and gas industry leaders, e(…)

West Virginia DEP Oil and Gas Workshop on May 16th

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will present an Oil & Gas Workshop at the Charleston Civic Center on May 16th beginning at 8:00 a.m.  Speakers will address a wide variety of topics of interest to operators, contractors, co(…)

WVDEP Extends Comment Period for Air General Permit for Well Site Activities

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality (DAQ) recently extended the public comment period for the draft Class II General Permit G70-A for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in regard to the Constructi(…)

West Virginia Legislation Authorizing New Regulations and Trade Secrets Awaits Governor's Signature

The West Virginia legislature has passed Senate Bill 243, the legislation which authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Oil and Gas (OOG), to promulgate the pending Horizontal Well Act regulations.  According to the West Virgi(…)

WV DEP Issues Draft Permit for Natural Gas Well Sites

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Division of Air Quality recently issued the draft Class II General Permit G70-A for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in regard to the Construction, Modification, Relocation, Administr(…)

West Virginia Pooling Bill Fails in Senate

Updating a previous post, The Intelligencer reports that the West Virginia Senate declined to consider legislation that would have allowed un-leased land to be included in drilling units.  Senator Brooks McCabe (D-Kanawha), who introduced Senate Bill(…)

Bill Under Consideration to Allow Pooling in West Virginia

The West Virginia Senate is reportedly considering legislation, Senate Bill No. 616, that would allow un-leased land to be included in drilling units.  This bill would not force an unwilling landowner into a unit, but rather would provide a mechanism(…)

West Virginia Federal Court Upholds Oil & Gas Lease Terms

On February 8, 2013, federal District Court Judge John Preston Bailey struck down a lawsuit attempting to void an oil and gas lease agreement.  The lessors argued that the lease should be voided based upon an inconsistency in the “commencement” date i(…)

West Virginia Pit and Impoundment Safety Study Results Released

The Charleston Gazette reports that the pit and impoundment study required by the Horizontal Well Act of 2011, and conducted by West Virginia University, identified problems with how pits and impoundments are constructed and with how state officials i(…)

GreenHunter Water to Convert Barge Terminal into Wastewater Facility

Reflecting the development of barge transport for moving fluids from natural gas exploration and production activities, GreenHunter Water, LLC recently bought a 10.8 acre barging terminal facility in Wheeling, West Virginia.  The terminal facility was(…)

ECA to Build New Regional Headquarters

According to the Charleston Gazette, Denver-based Energy Corporation of America (ECA) will build a three-story office building Northgate Business Park in Charleston. The building will have more than 5,000 square feet of space and house 100-200 employe(…)

West Virginia University College of Law Students Enter the Marcellus Shale Play With National Moot Court Competition

The WVU College of Law will tackle hydraulic fracturing issues in the upcoming National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition.  On March 14-16, 2013, moot court teams will gather in Morgantown to address issues involving alleged violation(…)

WV Natural Gas Vehicle Tax Force Report Outlines Recommendations

As reported in the Fayette Tribune, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s Natural Gas Vehicle Task Force has released its final report on how the state can utilize its natural gas resources to reduce transportation costs and boost the local econom(…)

West Virginia House of Delegates Approves Bill to Increase Possible Pipeline Penalty to $2 Million

On February 28, 2013, the West Virginia House of Delegates reportedly approved a measure that would significantly increase maximum civil penalties for safety violations involving natural gas pipelines regulated by the West Virginia Public Service Comm(…)

Two West Virginia DEP Studies on Gas Drilling Still Delayed

Randy Huffman, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), reportedly defended the agency’s tardiness in finalizing two natural gas drilling studies that were due at the end of 2012, as mandated by the 2011 Horizontal(…)

Chesapeake Strikes Oil in West Virginia Marcellus Shale

As reported in the Akron Beacon Journal Online, Chesapeake Energy has hit oil in West Virginia’s Ohio and Marshall Counties.   Chesapeake reports that it drew an average of 290 barrels of oil per day from one Ohio County well in 2012 with another Ohio(…)

$500 Million Polyethylene Plant in Plans for Wheeling, WV Area

James Cutler, CEO of Houston-based Appalachian Resins, Inc., indicated to the State Journal that his company is preparing to announce the details of its planned $500 million integrated polyethylene facility in Marshall County, south of Wheeling.  Fund(…)

West Virginia Legislature to Consider Horizontal Well Rules and Several Energy Bills

The State Journal reports that West Virginia lawmakers introduced 60 energy-related bills in the first two days of the 2013 regular West Virginia legislative session.  Twenty four of the bills concern natural gas, while 16 address a broad range of coa(…)

Plant in Belle, West Virginia Producing Chemical to Help Oil and Gas Recovery

The Charleston Gazette reports that Kureha PGA is making a product in its Belle facility that may be used by oil and gas companies.  The product is a polyglycolic acid resin (PGA) called Kuredux, a high-performance polymer that has been certified as a(…)

West Virginia Governor Says Ethane Cracker Still a Possibility

At a recent press conference, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was reportedly confident that an ethane cracker will be built in West Virginia “in the future.”  Stating only that the Commerce Department “continues to talk with those interested,”(…)

Fairmont Brine Recycling Plant Re-Opening Delayed

The State Journal reports that Fairmont Brine Processing wastewater recycling facility has delayed its re-opening by a few months.  The facility began operations in 2009 but shut down shortly thereafter due to an unmanageable level of corrosion.  Wast(…)

New Study Underway Investigating Water Usage in Marcellus Development

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports that a new study has begun regarding the use of water in hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.  The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation is providing funding f(…)

Antero Resources Increases Investment in Marcellus and Utica

The Intelligencer reports that Antero Resources will spend $1.65 billion in 2013 on development of the Utica Shale in Ohio and Marcellus Shale in West Virginia.  Antero will reportedly operate two Utica rigs and 12 Marcellus rigs.  Antero also plans t(…)

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Delays Release of Studies on Natural Gas Drilling

The Charleston Gazette recently reported that two of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection studies addressing natural gas drilling concerns will not be released by the deadline established in the Horizontal Well Act of 2011.  DEP Se(…)

New CNG Conversion Facility Announced for Morgantown

INNOVA Commercialization Group, a West Virginia early-stage investment program, has announced that it will provide financing to Alternative Fuel Solutions of West Virginia, LLC for the construction of a facility in Morgantown that will convert afterma(…)

U.S. Senate Transporation Committee Holds Pipeline Safety Field Hearing in West Virginia

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, to discuss pipeline safety issues in the wake of the December 2012 gas pipeline incident in Sissonville, West Virginia.  T(…)

Sen. Rockefeller to hold Field Hearing on Pipeline Safety

In response to the natural gas pipeline explosion in Sissonville, West Virginia last month, WCHS Radio 58 and West Virginia Public Broadcasting report that U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller will hold a field hearing on January 28th in Charleston. The heari(…)

Marshall County, West Virginia Property Values Rapidly Increasing

The assessed value of property located in Marshall County, West Virginia has increased by almost half in the past two years and has doubled since 2007, reports The State Journal.  Chris Kessler, Marshall County Assessor, indicated that the increase in(…)

Report Estimates $10 Trillion Dollars in New Economic Activity in Shale States

West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York could benefit from more than $10 trillion dollars in new economic activity as a result of the full development of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, according to an analysis from New York-based Kroll Bo(…)

West Virginia Consumers Optimistic about Shale Gas Opportunities reports that most consumers living in West Virginia believe shale exploration will provide economic opportunity.  Of those polled, nearly a quarter already reported seeing economic impact.  The poll, conducted as Huntington Bank’s Midw(…)

CNG Fueling Stations Coming to I-79 in West Virginia, Pennsylvania reports that IGS Energy, an Ohio-based company, will build and operate compressed natural gas fueling stations along Interstate 79 in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  IGS indicates that the $10 million network of CNG fueling stations will h(…)

Sam Cann Appointed to West Virginia State Senate

On January 16, 2013, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) announced the appointment of Harrison County House of Delegate Member Sam Cann,  (D), former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, to fill the vacated Senate seat for the 12th Senatorial Dis(…)

NiSource Reimburses West Virginia Authorities for Pipeline Explosion

NiSource Inc. has voluntarily reimbursed West Virginia state and local authorities for costs incurred by its December 11th pipeline explosion in Sissonville. Although there were no fatalities in the incident, which occurred just outside of Charleston,(…)

West Virginia Residential Utility Bills Decrease in 2012

The State Journal reports that average residential utility bills decreased 5.3 percent in West Virginia in 2012.  According to a January 9 report from the Public Service Commission of West Virginia’s Consumer Advocate Division, a decline in natural ga(…)

Natural Gas Production and Consumption Increases in West Virginia, Nationwide

Natural gas production and consumption rose nationwide according to new statistics published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Natural Gas Annual and the West Virginia State Journal. Of particular note, natural gas production in West Vir(…)

West Virginia DEP Adds Oil and Gas Inspectors

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has hired nine new oil and gas inspectors to handle increased natural gas drilling activity in the state.  DEP initiated the hiring search for additional inspectors after the state legisla(…)

Producers Seek OK to Transport "Frack Water" by Barge

An anticipated decision by the U.S. Coast Guard will determine when oil and gas producers can start transporting “frack water” by barge through West Virginia for treatment. “Frack water” is water containing chemicals used by oil and gas production com(…)

U.S. Senate Transportation Committee Chairman to Hold Pipeline Safety Hearing in Charleston

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) will be holding a field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, on pipeline safety.  The date for the hearing entitled, “Pipeline Safety: An On-the-Ground Look at Safeguarding th(…)

Trespass Lawsuit Filed against Reserve Oil & Gas

The West Virginia Record reports that a lawsuit has been filed against Reserve Oil & Gas, Inc. claiming an alleged trespass.  The plaintiffs, Sandra Bishop, Kathy Fannin, Connie McDaniel, Steve Fannin, Donna Lilly and Debra O’Dell, filed a complai(…)

Questions About West Virginia's Horizontal Well Act Remain

The West Virginia State Journal recently observed that the effect of the Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act, passed by the West Virginia Legislature in December 2011, remains unclear.  The Act provided a statutory and regulatory framework for nat(…)

West Virginia Gas Pipeline Accidents Raise Safety Concerns

Two recent gas pipeline accidents in West Virginia have brought greater attention to pipeline safety issues in that state.  On December 11, 2012, a natural gas transmission line near Sissonville ruptured, causing a fire that burned a portion of an int(…)

Marathon, Harvest sign letter of intent to develop oil transportation infracture on Ohio River

Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Harvest Pipeline Company on Tuesday announced a letter of intent between the companies to jointly develop infrastructure on the Ohio River to allow transport of hydrocarbon liquids produced from the Utica Shale.  The(…)

USGS Releases First Assessment of Utica Shale Resources

On October 4, 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (“USGS”) released the first assessment of shale gas resources in the Utica.  The assessment covered areas in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The estimate of undiscover(…)

West Viriginia Supreme Court to Address Surface Owner’s Right to Appeal Marcellus Well Permit

On September 25, 2012, the West Virginia Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case of Martin, et al. v. Hamblet, Docket No. 11-1157. The issue in this case is whether a surface owner is vested with the right to an administrative hearing on and s(…)