GASTAR Planning to Spend $200 Million in Marshall County on Road Repairs & New Drilling

by Duane Nichols on December 1, 2011

Gastar Exploration plans to invest about $200 million in West Virginia’s Marcellus shale field in 2012, with virtually all of the money directed to Marshall County. Gastar is a Canadian company with revenues last year of $42.76 million.

With about 79,000 acres leased in WV, the company will drill about 20 Marcellus wells on the acreage this year and perhaps 25 more next year. Eighty percent of the company’s capital investments next year will be in WV, with almost all in Marshall County. All the gas goes to Caiman Energy, with a gas processing plant on US Route 250 near Cameron. [The ethane will likely go via pipeline to a cracker plant in Canada.]

Of the Gastar spending, about $2.5 million will repave Rines Ridge and Burch Ridge, both suffered damage from heavy equipment traveling to Gastar drilling sites. An additional $2.5 million is to refurbish an old state road that is not currently in use. This road will be exclusively for drilling truck traffic. It connects WV Route 2 to Waynes Ridge, relieving much of the truck traffic from the other two roads.

Generally, the WV State Road Commission requires drillers to repair roads damaged by their operations when heavy equipment destroys the pavement or causes other damages.  A year or more can pass before damaged roads are repaired.

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