Oil and Gas

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

Energy producers, utilities and energy sector workers across the Ohio Valley are adjusting operations and bracing for continued economic impacts as the fast-moving coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold.

Residual waste truck in Pennsylvania.
Iris Marie Bloom

Across the Ohio Valley, natural gas drilling waste is trucked from the well pad to disposal sites. The waste contains naturally occurring radioactive elements. 

Freelance science journalist Justin Nobel spent nearly two years reporting on this topic. He interviewed hundreds of scientists, environmentalists, state regulators and industry workers and uncovered never-before-released early reports from the oil and gas industry that highlight the radioactivity problem and its risks to workers and the public.

Energy and Environment Reporter Brittany Patterson spoke with Nobel via Skype about his investigation titled “America’s Radioactive Secret” that was published last month in Rolling Stone.

 

Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley ReSource

 

11/20/2018 8:55 p.m.: This story was updated with information from Diversified. 

 

The West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization is asking state environmental regulators for a hearing to discuss a proposed transfer of more than 3,800 oil and gas wells located across West Virginia.

 


 

Nancy Andrews

About 2,000 people gathered in Pittsburgh last month for two gas and petrochemical industry conferences. Despite those numbers, people noticed who wasn’t there: investors from China. Participants discussed the impacts of tariffs, best practices and hiring.

Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

Researchers in West Virginia and Kansas want to get a better handle on how best to manage millions of barrels of dangerous wastewater produced across the United States by the natural gas industry.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

The W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection has Statement About Danny Webb waste site in Fayette County. DEP Communications Director, Kelly J. Gillenwater said in an email Friday:

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Legislators stood Thursday to speak to legislation that has not yet made it to the floor. Senate Bill 368 was introduced by Senator Herb Snyder early in the session repealing unfair trade practices.

The bill focuses on a section of code written in the late 1930s. At the time, many states and the federal government put laws in place that prevented major retailers from undercutting the prices of mom and pop stores, forcing them out of business.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

The natural gas boom continues to sound in what have become the northern gas fields of West Virginia. State lawmakers are working on ways to take maximum advantage of the economic benefits that are coming with it. The other byproduct authorities are grappling with is an excess of waste products, which, without proper disposal, can threaten public health.

Downstream Strategies

The Marcellus water resources and water footprint report takes a critical look at water-use data provided by natural gas drillers over the past couple years to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection—data operators are required to provide under the Horizontal Well Control Act of 2011.

The Horizontal Well Control Act of 2011 required studies be conducted to gain a more profound understanding of all that's entailed in the natural gas drilling that's sweeping northern West Virginia. Those reports are coming due, and legislators are hearing from scientists who have been looking into the matter.

Two major reports are being discussed in Charleston this week. One looks at air and noise pollution, while another considers water use related to Horizontal Well drilling.

1. Air and Noise