A program of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association


Schools Present STEM project at WVU

Observer Reporter Wheeling County Greene County Mon Valley | October 4, 2018 | 



From left, West Greene School District’s Jed Hamberger, K-12 academic director; Melissa Ullom, high school English teacher; and Eric Armstrong, high school physics teacher, showcase education programs funded by Innovation Grants. With its grant, West Greene purchased a milling machine that’s used to build equipment in the high school robotics program. They also purchased a drone for the engineering and Earth science programs.


From robotics and coding to makerspaces and sustainable gardening, students from 26 Southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia classrooms showcased their projects Tuesday during the inaugural Innovation Grants Showcase. The program, held at West Virginia University’s Erickson Alumni Center, brought together students, teachers, and administrators, to collaborate on unique approaches to science, technology, engineering and math-related curriculum.

Each project displayed received Innovation Grant funding – a program supported by Chevron and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to encourage school districts, primarily in rural communities, to develop engaging curriculum with innovation and design serving as the driving force behind science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education.

“Chevron remains dedicated to

Read more >

Natural Gas Industry Provides Significant Contributions to K-12, Higher Education in West Virginia





Anne Blankenship

(304) 343-1609


Natural Gas Industry Provides Significant Contributions to K-12, Higher Education in West Virginia


Charleston, W.Va.(September 10, 2018) – West Virginia’s natural gas industry is heavily engaged in helping students, teachers and schools – both K-12 and higher education – improve learning opportunities and educational outcomes through its support of myriad initiatives across the state, representatives of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) announced.  

“Our members and their employees live and work in communities across West Virginia and we want to do all we can to make sure our students receive the best education possible,” said Anne Blankenship, executive director of WVONGA.

Blankenship said the industry is involved in supporting elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges and universities in West Virginia. Additionally, the industry supports a variety of education-related philanthropic organizations offering cutting edge programming focused on broadening learning opportunities in STEM, leadership, and energy curriculums.


Blankenship said programming focused on educating students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is a priority for many WVONGA members. Recent initiatives include:


  • -Dominion Energy contributed over $130,000.00 to numerous educational initiatives across northcentral WV, focusing on environmental and STEM education.


  • -Chevron provides Innovation Grants to West Virginia Schools while also supporting the Star Smart astronomy program for Marshall County schools.


  • -XTO supports The Challenge Program at North Marion High School and STEM projects at Jane Lew Elementary School.


  • -Southwestern Energy supports STEM and Technology Student Association clubs in six northern panhandle high schools.


  • -MarkWest Energy’s establishment of a postsecondary STEM scholarship program through the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley for several school districts in West Virginia.


Other examples of natural gas industry support with West Virginia schools and students include: 

Read more >

Pipeline Development in WV Creating Significant Economic Impact


CONTACT:                                                                                                                                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Anne Blankenship                                                                                                                                       August 27, 2018

(304) 343-1609


Pipeline Development in WV Creating Significant Economic Impact for State, Local Communities


Local leaders highlight need for projects to continue construction


Charleston, W.Va.– Interstate natural gas pipeline development in West Virginia has resulted in the addition of 3,600 jobs in the last twelve months, according to Workforce West Virginia, while positively benefitting state tax revenue and local economies. However, those benefits are threatened due to recently issued stop-work orders for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

Dave Hardy, Deputy Revenue Secretary for the State of West Virginia, appearing on Inside Shale Weekly on Tuesday, Aug. 21st, touted historic state revenue collections for the month of July and credited natural gas as a major reason for the surplus.

“The oil and gas industry is huge,” Hardy said. “As the pipeline projects come online we’re projecting that our state revenue numbers for natural gas are going to continue to grow. Along with the construction of the pipelines, you have a more steady stream of gas being able to get to market, so obviously that’s going to lead to more production and more stability.”

Pipeline construction is also benefitting local communities where the lines are being built. Ken Altizer, a county commissioner in Nicholas County, where the Mountain Valley Pipeline is being constructed, highlighted a number of examples of Summersville businesses experiencing increased sales due to the project.  

“A local auto dealership has done a lot of repair work as well as sold vehicles to the people coming to work,” Altizer said. “A local laundromat has nearly doubled its business. A restaurant went from doing 30-35 tickets to 120 tickets during lunch.”

“We’ve had 200-300 local people hired, which is great for our economy,” Altizer said. “When this is all finalized, the county will receive $2.2 million dollars in tax revenue just from the assets of the pipe in the ground.”

“All in all, business in the county has tremendously increased, and now everyone is on edge about what’s going to happen with this shutdown,” Altizer said.

Steve White, director of the West Virginia Affiliated Construction Trades Council, said these projects have spent years getting their permits and, due to legal challenges, they have been stopped by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“They’re shutting these projects down,” White said.  “They’re laying off our people.  Our folks are losing money.  It’s a huge hit to the working person.”

“The majority of people are local people on these jobs. Even though you see a lot of out of state folks, they are from our region. This is their time to earn.”

“Let’s fix the permits, but let us work on the rest of the line, while you do.”

To listen to the Aug. 21 Inside Shale Weekly podcast, visit: https://insideshale.podbean.com/.

For additional information, contact Anne Blankenship at (304) 343-1609.


ExxonMobil’s XTO Energy Announces Progress on Methane Emissions Reduction Program

City of Clarksburg Passes Resolution in Support of WV’s Natural Gas Industry”


Poll finds favorable view of oil and gas industry

Jess Mancini | The Parkersburg News and Sentinel | June 6, 2018 | 

PARKERSBURG — A poll of residents living in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions found a positive opinion of the oil and gas industry while the federal agency tasked with their environmental protection had the least trust.

Orion Strategies polled 600 people 18 and older who live along the Ohio River in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The live-interview telephone poll was conducted April 3-6.

The findings were overall positive for the industry.

“It doesn’t surprise me that much,” said Greg Kozera, marketing director for Shale Crescent USA.

The attitude has been shaped by a positive impact from oil and gas development, Kozera said. People have determined that the fears spread by media and environmental groups have not happened, Kozera said.

Residents have been affected by the new jobs created either directly or indirectly, and improved roads, schools and other public facilities as a result of oil and gas development, he said.

“They’ve seen the jobs that have come out of it,” Kozera said.

The survey found “key insights” into the perceptions of the energy industry, Orion said.

Read more >

ExxonMobil and Employees Contribute More Than $287,000 To West Virginia Colleges and Universities



CONTACT:       Media Relations

                        724 772 9576



MAY 23, 2018


ExxonMobil and Employees Contribute More Than $287,000

To West Virginia Colleges and Universities


  • Nine institutions of higher learning in West Virginia receive funds from 3:1 Educational Matching Gift Program
  • Recipient organizations encouraged to support math and science initiatives


IRVING, Texas – ExxonMobil and its employees, including XTO staff, contributed more than $287,000 to nine institutions of higher education across West Virginia as part of the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2017 Educational Matching Gift Program.


ExxonMobil and XTO employees, retirees, directors and surviving spouses contributed almost $72,000 to nine West Virginia colleges and universities, which was matched by over $215,000 in unrestricted grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation. Although grants are unrestricted, colleges and universities are encouraged to designate a portion to math and science programs supporting student engagement.

Read more >

University of Cincinnati Study Finds No Evidence of Groundwater Contamination Attributable to Natural Gas Development



Anne Blankenship                                                            

(304) 343-1609


May 14, 2018


University of Cincinnati Study Finds No Evidence of Groundwater

Contamination Attributable to Natural Gas Development


Charleston, W.Va.– 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:

“We found no relationship between CH4 (natural gas methane) concentration or source in groundwater and proximity to active gas well sites. No significant changes in CH4 concentration, CH4 isotopic composition, pH, or conductivity in water wells were observed during the study period.”

While these findings were initially released over two years ago, the study is being published in the upcoming June 2018 edition of the peer-reviewedinternational journal, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.  According to the journal’s website, the publication is devoted to progress in the use of monitoring data in assessing environmental risks to man and the environment.

To access the article, click here.

For additional information, contact Anne Blankenship at (304) 343-1609.

# # #

Howard Swint: Midstream key to West Virginia's economic growth

By Howard Swint | Gazette Daily Mail | May 11, 2018

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.

And depending on key decisions within the global petrochemical industry, the Mountain State could become the home of manufacturing operations utilizing those liquids here in addition to transporting them to other locations. Due largely to area Marcellus and Utica shale fields, our region has many competitive regional advantages that are proving to outweigh even the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, the traditional locations for petrochemical operations.

Location decisions are determined by corporate-specific analysis of potential sites. That analysis also considers the availability of ethane storage facilities nearby. Ethane storage will guarantee a steady supply of feedstock for the chemical manufacturing plants, as well as to stabilize the price for their source ingredient.

Read more >

Cove Point Becomes 2nd U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas Export Terminal


By Jude Clemente | Forbes Magazine | March 6, 2018

And so it begins. Friday was a historic day for the U.S. energy industry and our always evolving natural gas business in particular. After a series of delays, Dominion Energy shipped out its first LNG cargo from $4 billion Cove Point export terminal in Maryland. This becomes our second LNG export facility following Cheniere Energy’s startup at Sabine Pass in Louisiana two years ago. Cove point started construction back in 2014 and liquefaction started in January.

Read more >

Sign-up to energize WV today