Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marcellus Committee Clears Permit Fee Hurdle in West Virginia

Natural gas operators would pay $10,000 to drill a well in West Virginia's share of the Marcellus shale field, and $5,000 for each additional well at the initial site, under a proposal adopted Wednesday by a special legislative committee.

The House-Senate panel also approved provisions increasing bonds posted for well projects, enhancing public notice of drilling and compensating the owners of surface land where operators drill their wells. With the committee resuming its work next month, Wednesday's changes move lawmakers closer to a regulatory bill that they hope to propose during a special session before year's end.

But the permit fee amendment has been considered a crucial hurdle in the process. Operators now pay just a few hundred dollars for a permit. The resulting revenues have helped to leave the Department of Environmental Protection's Oil and Gas office with a $1 million shortfall in its budget.....Read the entire AP article.

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