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- West Virginia oil and gas production hits new high
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WEST UNION — The MarkWest Sherwood Complex continues to help the residents of Doddridge County in a variety of ways through the site’s work in oil and gas.
MarkWest is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MPLX. The Sherwood Complex first began operations in October 2012, said Jamal Kheiry, communications manager for Marathon Petroleum Corp.
“MPLX’s natural gas processing complexes remove the heavier and more valuable hydrocarbon components from natural gas,” Kheiry said.
In 2017, through a joint venture between MarkWest and Antero Midstream, the company was able to add three more gas processing plants, with the capacity of processing 200 million cubic feet of gas every day. Last year, the company invested $200 million in construction.
“The Sherwood Complex now processes natural gas in nine processing plants, with a total capacity of 1.8 billion cubic feet per day,” Kheiry said. “Sherwood also includes a 40,000 barrel per day de-ethanization unit, which separates ethane from natural gas.”
Hoppy's Commentary | May 16, 2018 at 12:32AM
Two years ago, University of Cincinnati environmental studies professor Dr. Amy Townsend-Small caused a stir when she told a meeting of the Carroll County (Ohio) Concerned Citizens that her research showed fracking was NOT polluting their water.
The announcement was a stunner for opponents of hydraulic fracturing to reach natural gas deposits buried deep below the surface. A portion of the funding for the study even came from fracking opponents who anticipated they would finally have scientific evidence that fracking contaminated their water wells.
“I am really sad to say this, but some of our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results,” Townsend-Small told those at the meeting. “They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping that this data could be a reason to ban it.”
A multi-year study conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati, and partly funded by organizations opposed to natural gas development, found no groundwater contamination from Utica shale development in Ohio. Anne Blankenship, executive director of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association, said, “The study was based on the hypothesis that natural gas methane concentration would increase as the number of shale gas wells in the study area increased. However, the results were just the opposite. We can add this report to the pile of twenty or more similar studies showing no threat to groundwater from shale gas operations.” The study, entitled “Monitoring concentration and isotopic composition of methane in groundwater in the Utica Shale hydraulic fracturing region of Ohio”, involved collecting data from 25 water wells in Carroll, Harrison, Stark, Belmont and Columbiana counties in Ohio – areas with a high propensity of natural gas development – between 2012 and 2015. According to the report:
West Virginia is at the center of a massive shift within the global energy markets that will profoundly reorder the state’s economy for generations to come.
Its impact is already being realized in the natural gas industry, whereby West Virginia-based operations are now producing so much dry methane and natural gas liquids (NGLs) that they are both being exported internationally.
Recent one-sided Gazette-Mail articles, written in partnership with the advocacy publication ProPublica, mislead readers by failing to emphasize how the region’s flourishing natural gas market benefits West Virginia: It has put thousands of local workers back to work, saved families and provided a paycheck where there wasn’t one.
Regional production of cleaner-burning natural gas has also improved the environment; generated record quantities of affordable, reliable fuel and electricity; mass-produced jobs in energy and non-energy fields; and helped businesses of varying sectors, from grocery stores to hotels — all while providing family-supporting wages that pay down mortgages, buy food and fill prescriptions.
Attempting to draw parallels between West Virginia’s thriving natural gas industry and the region’s history of coal production, a recent article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail functions more as an anti-natural gas development scare tactic than objective piece of investigative journalism. As the first in a series of West Virginia-focused articles in partnership with New York City-based advocacy outlet ProPublica, the piece inaccurately frames the region’s natural gas development as something to fear rather than celebrate.
To understand the extent to which this article missed the mark about the state’s natural gas development, let’s breakdown some the article’s key claims:
High in some trees atop Peters Mountain in Monroe County sits a small group of passionate and dedicated protesters doing what they can to delay or stop construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
“We couldn’t let it just happen,” a treetop pipeline protester told Matt Combs of the Register-Herald in Beckley.
About a half a dozen protesters are taking turns in the trees along the mountain ridge near the Appalachian Trail. A small group on the ground is providing food and support. They all deserve credit for their dedication and passion toward doing what they believe they must do.