Economic Research

The Economic Impact of the Natural Gas Industry in West Virginia

From 2001-2009, natural gas employment in West Virginia increased by 34% (the summation of the employment in all natural gas NAICS sectors).

In 2009, the economic activities associated with the Marcellus Shale development created approximately 7,600 jobs and $297.9 million in employee compensation in the state.

In 2009, the West Virginia oil and natural gas industry directly employed approximately 9,900 individuals and paid over $550 million in wages.

Employment impact of Marcellus Shale development for 2010 was estimated between 7,600 and 8,500 additional jobs depending upon the growth rate.

By 2015, the number of additional jobs created in that year is estimated to be between 6,600 and 19,600.

The main contributor in the increase in total employment in the industry was increased employment in the support activities for the oil and gas operations sector, which employs the most natural gas employees at over 2,600 in 2009, increased employment from 2001 by 102%. The driving force behind this increased employment was the development of
Marcellus Shale in the state.

Assorted state taxes associated with Marcellus Shale development totaled $14.5million (these taxes included sales, use, personal income, corporate net income andbusiness franchise taxes in the state).

Estimated impact of Marcellus Shale development in 2009 in West Virginia is deemed to be conservative. Estimates of the economic benefits of royalty payments, bonuses to landowners, exploration of Marcellus Shale, pipeline and transportation of the natural gas extracted from Marcellus Shale, processing of the natural gas, and severance taxes paid to the state were not included in the economic impact estimates.

Future development of Marcellus Shale in West Virginia is dependent on changes to federal and state policies as well as changes to tax and environmental policies in other Marcellus Shale states.

The economic impact of the Marcellus Shale development in West Virginia in 2009 was estimated using the IMPLANÒ input-output model and 2009 data collected from the industry.

This report analyzes the industry and presents results from an economic impact in calendar year 2009. In addition, the report outlines key policy questions, including some of the tax, legal, and environmental issues that must be addressed as the industry matures in the state.

WVU Bureau of Business & Economic Research

The West Virginia University College of Business and Economics provides some outstanding research through their Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Much of this research is available through their website, although we have provided the 2012 Economic Outlook and the 2012 Winter Economic Review

Oil & Gas History in WV

Much like the discussions over which came first the chicken or the egg, many wonder about the origins of the oil and gas industry. As you learn more about the history of oil and gas, you may ask...

Oil and Gas History

Afraid of Fracking?

New Book by Greg Kozera

The public has a lot of fear of hydraulic fracturing due to all of the misinformation they hear about it. We tend to fear what we don’t understand. 

Read More


In the HBO movie “Gasland,” New York City filmmaker Josh Fox tried to scare people into thinking that natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing are new, unregulated and dangerous.

It made one Pennsylvania mom living atop the Marcellus Shale wonder what she was getting into.

Watch the movie


There's plenty of research demonstrating the economic impact of the natural gas industry and Marcellus Shale development.

Here are some of the better articles

Oil & Gas Glossary

Understanding the terminology aids in understanding the industry.


Online Resources

The internet is flush with articles about the oil and gas industry.

We've culled some of the better ones for your perusal.

Student Classroom Activities

You're never too young to learn about how the oil and gas industry operates.

We've identified some outstanding resources for teachers to use in the classroom.


Videos provide a wonderful way to visualize a number of things relating to the oil and gas industry. 

Enjoy! And if you know of other videos we should include in our library, be sure to let us know!

Watch Now


Corky Demarco
Executive Director

PO Box 3231 | Charleston WV 25332 | Phone: 304.343.1609 Fax: 304.343.5610 | Toll Free: 866.343.1609