Bayer AG continues to discuss the lease or sale of acreage it owns in West Virginia for potential locations for ethane crackers, but at least one company has dropped out of those talks. “An affiliate of ours had been looking at a project in that area for an ethylene facility, but they are no longer doing that,” a spokesman for Houston-based PetroLogistics told NGI’s Shale Daily. In December, Bayer said a trio of sites it owns in industrial parks in New Martinsville, Institute and South Charleston, WV, totaling about 1,480 acres were available and would be ideal locations for thermal crackers (see Shale Daily, Dec. 23, 2010). Bayer wouldn’t discuss “speculation or market rumors” about possible deals, but has been in “serious discussions with several interested companies” that are looking at the West Virginia properties, Bayer spokesman Bryan Iams told NGI’s Shale Daily.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Bethany College in Bethany, WV, have agreed to terms of a contract that will result in natural gas drilling on non-campus lands owned by the private school. Terms of the contract were not released. The drilling will occur on land outside the Bethany town limits in Brooke County, WV, in the state’s northern panhandle, and there are no plans to drill on campus, the school said. The agreement follows three years of feasibility study, research and negotiations.