EQT Corp. is planning more drilling and completion activity this year in West Virginia, where it will focus on lowering well costs in a state that’s home to a large chunk of its assets. 

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“I think when you step back and look at the assets that we have, about 40% of our leasehold is in West Virginia,” said CEO Toby Rice during a call on Thursday to discuss year-end financial results. “So, it makes sense for us to start shifting some of our development to that area.”

Rice said longer laterals will help drive down well costs in West Virginia, where horizontals are planned to average 15,100 feet this year compared to 11,630 feet in Pennsylvania, which is where the bulk of the nation’s largest natural gas producer’s operations are located. The company assumes that the...