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West Virginia News

W.Va. mineral owners group, driller settle on lease agreement

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — A group of mineral owners in the Northern Panhandle will receive more than $100 million from Marcellus Shale lease agreements with a drilling company. The mineral owners could receive more money from Fort Worth, Texas-based Tug Hill Operating in the future from production royalties, which would be in addition to the upfront lease payments, said Jonathan Turak, ...

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Plastics manufacturers look to ethane processing plants for benefits

Plastics manufacturers are counting on ethane processing plants tied to natural gas from the Marcellus, Utica and other shale regions in the United States to lift the industry out of its slow-growth pattern. Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is considering a Beaver County site for construction of such a plant, and Braskem Inc. proposes one near Parkersburg, W.Va. The low-cost ...

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WVU creates field lab for shale gas research

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University says it is conducting the first-ever long-term, comprehensive field study of the burgeoning shale-energy industry. The Morgantown school says the study is part of a five-year, $11 million agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy. It’ll also work with Ohio State University on the project. Officials say the agreement will allow the research team ...

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W.Va.’s Tomblin to lead trade mission to Brazil

Petrochemical plant ( oil refinery ) industry at twilight time

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is set to lead a trade mission to Brazil to discuss the potential development of a petrochemical complex and ethane cracker plant in Wood County. Officials say the five-day mission is scheduled to begin Monday and will include members of the West Virginia Development Office. Tomblin’s office says the focus of the trip ...

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WVU, Penn State host program on gas royalties

WHEELING, W.Va. — West Virginia University and Penn State’s extension services are offering an educational program on natural gas royalties. The free program is called “Shale Mineral Management: Understanding Your Royalty Check.” It will be offered on Thursday at the Wheeling Island Casino in Wheeling. Officials say the program will provide insight and understanding about how new trends in drilling ...

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ATK working to fine-tune more eco-friendly fracking system

FROSTBURG — An Alliant Techsystems Inc. official said during an energy forum at Frostburg State University on Wednesday that ATK has been developing a new fracking system that is far less resource-intensive and environmentally dangerous than current hydraulic fracturing methods. Steve Moore, vice president of strategy and business development for ATK, detailed the new process at an event sponsored by ...

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Stone Energy to pay $177K in EPA settlement

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a Louisiana company will pay $177,500 to resolve environmental violations at two natural gas operations in West Virginia. Officials say Stone Energy Corp. agreed to the penalty settlement after the agency had cited the company for Clean Water Act violations in Wetzel County. The EPA said in a press release Stone ...

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Fracking near W.Va. chemical plant on hold

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Houston company’s plans to drill for natural gas near a Marshall County chemical plant are on hold. A Marshall County circuit judge late last week issued a temporary restraining order blocking gas drilling, or fracking, by Gastar Exploration Inc. near Axiall Corp.’s chemical manufacturing plant at Natrium. A full hearing on the matter is scheduled for ...

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Radiation detection nearly set at W.Va. landfills

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The installation of devices that detect radiation in natural gas drilling waste is nearly complete at six West Virginia landfills, a state Department of Environmental Protection official said. Legislation passed earlier this year requires radiation monitoring of drill cuttings by January and set aside the maximum amount of weight that these landfills could accept. The environmental agency ...

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Marcellus expert says more scrutiny needed of fracking near Marshall chemical plant

One of the nation’s best-known experts on the Marcellus Shale concluded that more investigation is needed before a Houston firm is allowed to move forward with natural gas wells near the site of a “near-catastrophic” fracking incident at a Marshall County chemical plant. Penn State geologist Terry Engelder, who did groundbreaking work about the gas reserves available in the Marcellus ...

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