CAMERON - The Marcellus Shale natural gas industry continues to boom in the Northern Panhandle, as Trans Energy Inc. is drilling and hydraulically fracturing more wells.
"Trans Energy continues to move to a development phase from an exploration phase as it develops its acreage position in northern West Virginia," said John G. Corp, president of the St. Mary's, W.Va.-based driller.
Along with firms such as Chesapeake Energy, AB Resources and others, Trans Energy is drilling more gas wells throughout the area. Trans Energy's Lucey No. 1 H well will be drilled and completed horizontally in the area north of Glen Easton.
"We have completed the drilling of the Keaton No. 1 H and have now begun the drilling of the Lucey No. 1 H," Corp said.
Due to the high volume of natural gas activity throughout the Marcellus Shale region, Trans Energy was having a hard time in November finding someone to fracture, or "frack," their wells. Some of these operations are now complete.
"Additionally, last week we completed the 11-stage "frac(k)" on the Stout No. 2 H in Marshall County, W.Va., and are beginning the process this week of drilling out the frac(k) plugs," Corp noted. "We now have both the Groves No. 1 H and the Keaton No. 1 H wells drilled and behind pipe and have secured frac(k) dates in February and March for these two wells."
According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the recently fracked Stout well is in the area north of Cameron.
Fracking is the method by which drillers stimulate gas wells to produce more gas.
Millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped at high pressure down into the shaft to break the rock to release the gas. Some are concerned that fracking may contaminate groundwater or cause other environmental hazards, though no hard evidence of such as been found in West Virginia.
Trans Energy officials noted last year that the Whipkey Well No. 2 north of Cameron was then pumping an average of 4.45 million cubic feet of natural gas each day.
With production this high, those signing contracts for royalties ranging from 12-19 percent could stand to gain substantial profits.
In addition to those described above, DEP records show these are the other sites and locations for which Trans Energy has permission to drill in Marshall County, with some of work ongoing: