The West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Safety Commission, formed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in July in response to oilfield accidents, said it plans to extend its work through this year to track possible implementation of 17 recommendations issued last month.
Articles from Tomblin
West Virginia’s severance tax collections are projected to fall $192 million short of initial estimates for this fiscal year (FY) and grow at nowhere near the pace they did last year, said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s spokesman a day after state-wide budget cuts were announced.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has called the state legislature into a special session scheduled to begin Sunday (Dec. 11) to discuss, and possibly pass, a compromise Marcellus Shale regulatory reform bill as early as this week. The Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale (JSCMS), a 10-member bipartisan committee, has been working on legislation informally known as the Marcellus Draft Bill (MDB) for weeks. The JSCMS used a failed bill called the Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act, also known as SB 424, as the bill’s foundation (see NGI, Aug. 15). The shale gas industry is concerned by an amendment calling for operators to pay a $10,000 permitting fee for the first well drilled on a pad and $5,000 for each additional well well (see NGI, Nov. 28; Sept. 19). The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection also has proposed increasing horizontal drilling fees to $10,000 — up from the current $650 paid by all drillers — to fund additional inspectors (see NGI, Feb. 14).
A bill that would have changed West Virginia’s regulation of Marcellus Shale drilling was not brought up for a final vote by the House of Delegates during the final day of its 2011 regular session Friday and so will not become law this year.
Legislation being drafted by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration includes a statutory pooling provision for shallow horizontal wells, which would include Marcellus Shale drilling in the state, according to Nick Casey, a member of the Lewis Glasser Casey & Rollins law firm in Charleston, WV.