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The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted certificate approval to the second-largest natural gas expansion project in the US Northeast, the 170-mile, 2.7 Bcf/d Mountaineer XPress project in West Virginia. 

This story is part of NCWV Media’s year-end series recognizing people, projects and entities that positively impacted the North Central West Virginia region over the past year. Due to its potential to economically boost the Doddridge County area for decades to come while setting environmental standards for the oil and gas industry, NCWV Media’s Editorial Board has selected Antero Resources’ Clearwater Facility as the 2017 Private Project of the Year.

Charleston, W.Va. (December 20, 2017)– Since the development of the Marcellus Shale over the last ten years, the amount that consumers have paid for natural gas in the Mountain State’s homes and businesses has tumbled $4.3 Billion (in 2016 dollars) - making Christmas merrier across West Virginia.  Data from the Energy Information Administration shows dropping prices for natural gas consumers at all levels including residential, commercial and industrial users.

Anne Blankenship, Executive Director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association is thrilled to see how natural gas development in West Virginia is paying off in a big way. “Merry Christmas, West Virginia!  First, we learned of the huge China Energy deal of $83.7 billion to be invested here, and now we see how much money the industry is saving West Virginians across the state,” Blankenship said. 

Since the development of shale gas in West Virginia a decade ago, residential customers have saved a remarkable $1.57 billion statewide. Rates have dropped for commercial and industrial energy consumption as well, totaling about $1.38 billion (commercial) and $1.32 billion (industrial) in savings on their gas bills.  

Billions of dollars have been invested in West Virginia’s natural gas industry for development that has lead to enormous economic impact.  The state has considerably more natural gas than it can use, sitting atop the second largest gas field in the world.

“When you look at the trend year by year, you can see that the savings for all West Virginians just keep growing,” said Blankenship. “And, when you add it all up, that number is impressive.” 

West Virginia sits on the cusp of one of the greatest periods of infrastructure development since, potentially, the creation of the interstate system. This development will provide tens of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in investment, generations’ worth of tax receipts for state and county governments, and possibly most importantly, set the foundation for maximizing West Virginia’s oil and gas resources for the benefit of all West Virginians.

Natural gas interstate pipeline projects approved or under review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission represent what may be the largest private sector infrastructure investment in the state’s history. Four of those projects — the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Supply Header and the Leach Express Pipeline — are estimated to provide over $7 billion in investment and economic activity alone. The Mountain Valley, Atlantic Coast and Supply Header pipelines were recently approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, while the Leach Express was approved earlier this year.


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