WAJR in Morgantown Broadcasts “Inside Shale Weekly” for the WV Oil and Natural Gas Association

by Duane Nichols on August 16, 2011

This week “Inside Shale Weekly” broadcast an interview with Hoppy Kercheval on the recent events in northern WV. And, Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman answered questions about the WV Office of Oil and Gas. He said that the Governor’s Executive Order will be implemented within a few days via a filing with the Secretary of State. He said that the statutes of regulation for the oil and gas industry are the oldest in the State, about 80 years old.
Mr. Huffman said that the current rule that OOG inspectors must have 6 years of experience in the industry to be hired is unreasonable, that he hopes and plans to get salary increases for these inspector positions and increase the size of the staff by 8 to 10 positions.
Also on the program, it was stated that the number of wells being drilled is limited by the number of horizontal rigs in the State, rather than the number of permits issued. WV has issued about 1500 Marcellus permits with approximately 1000 being completed, whereas the grand total of oil and gas wells in WV is around 59,000.
The program host suggested that the 600 acres at the Morgantown Airport might be leased at $5,000 per acre if the City wants to cash in on this opportunity. (Let me see a lease in WV at $5,000 per acre!) It was also stated that orange peels might make an environmentally acceptable fracking chemical.  (We all look forward to non-toxic fracking chemicals and the proper disposal of the liquids and solids that result from fracking.)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Duane G. Nichols August 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

ROTARY DRILLING RIGS ARE USED IN WV AND MANY OTHER STATES. A rotary rig rotates the drill bit from the surface to drill new wells so as to explore for, develop and produce crude oil or raw natural gas. The Baker Hughes company compiles data for public distribution. Of the US rigs working, the number drilling for oil is 1,007 and for natural gas is 873. Texas has 850, Oklahoma has 176, Louisiana 169, North Dakota 153, Pennsylvania 115, Colorado 70, Wyoming 50, Arkansas 33, and West Virginia 20. Canada’s working rotary rig count is 331.


Duane G. Nichols August 17, 2011 at 8:44 am

ABANDONED OIL AND GAS WELLS IN WEST VIRGINIA ARE A CAUSE OF AIR POLLUTION AND WATER POLLUTION. Of the approximately 13,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in WV, some 4500 are “orphaned” since the operator is now unknown. Some 5700 have known operators yet in the past few years only 250 abondoned wells have been plugged, at a cost to the State of $6 million. Some unplugged wells leak methane and other gases, including hydrogen sulfide which is easily detected. Some leak oil onto the ground. Aquifers and water supplies are sometimes infiltrated by the gases and crude oil.


bio ladi August 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Answer to the issue?

It is the same as we see with mines…far too many left abandoned and a burden on tax payers.

We have not demonstrated a wisdom for future needs/events and tend to re-elect the same sort again and again in to office.

How exactly do we reach out the the people that need educating on the topics that make for current and future environmental issues?

How can we prevent the issue of abandoned and orphan wells from multiplying?


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