A program of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association


Natural Gas Industry Energizing Education in West Virginia

Press Release | September 2017


Anne Blankenship

(304) 343-1609 

Natural Gas Industry Energizing Education in West Virginia


Charleston, W.Va. (September 18, 2017) – 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: 

XTO Energy’s support for the WVUTeach Program, which brings together West Virginia University, nonprofit organizations, private foundations, and local schools to address the need for teachers in STEM subject areas.
Chevron’s sponsorship of the West Virginia Maker Network and funding for 10 schools to implement the Project Lead The Way curriculum.
Southwestern Energy’s support of the Oglebay Institute to provide summer camp scholarships and their partnership with the WV Education Alliance on Makerspace at Wheeling Park High School. 
Antero Resources, MarkWest Energy, and XTO Energy’s support for the Challenge Program in north central West Virginia
Dominion Energy’s Environmental Education & Stewardship Grantswhich engage students in a variety of energy and environmental programs.
Antero Resources and Dominion Energy’s support for students attending the Tom Dunn Energy Leadership Academy.
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:  


Dominion Energy and Antero Resources’ support of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program, which teaches high school sophomores leadership skills.


Chevron and Southwestern Energy’s partnership with Junior Achievement for “Careers in Energy” at Robert Bland Middle School in Lewis County.


Antero Resources support of the Opportunity Councils’ YouthWorks program in Doddridge County.


XTO Energy’s support of the Junior Firefighter Camp for high school students across the state, facilitated by the West Virginia University Extension Fire Service in Jackson’s Mill.


Blankenship said the industry’s educational involvement isn’t limited to K-12.  Other initiatives include: 

Southwestern Energy’s partnership with West VirginiaNorthern Community & Technical College on the welding program at Magnolia High School.


Chevron’s support of ShaleNet at Pierpont Community & Technical College and scholarships to stateresidents to attend training at the school. 


Antero Resources’ sponsorship of the Appalachian Petroleum Training Center at Pierpont Community &Technical College.


Employees and retirees of ExxonMobil, of which XTO Energy is a natural gas subsidiary, provided more than $70,000 in contributions to West Virginia University – an annual giving tradition.


Dominion Energy’s establishment of an endowed scholarship at the West Virginia University School of Petroleum Engineering.

“These are just small snapshots of the involvement our members have with the education community in the state,” Blankenship said.  “The industry is very committed to doing all it can to help West Virginia youth grow and prosper.” 

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

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State's Midstream facilities grow to meet gas production increase

Jim Ross | The State Journal | September 4, 2017


The Sherwood natural gas processing and fractionation complex in Doddridge County is the largest on the MPLX system, and it's getting larger. (Courtesy MPLX)


It takes only a few numbers for Doddridge County Assessor David Sponaugle to see what the natural gas industry has done for the tax base there.

In 2010, the total assessed valuation for Doddridge County – land, buildings, minerals, vehicles and all else – was $457,530,911, Sponaugle said. In 2017, it’s $1,386,157,147. That’s more than three times what it was seven years ago.

“Is all that increase from natural gas?

Read more >

Ground Broken for Methanol Plant in West Virginia

U.S. News | September 6, 2017

INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) — Ground has been broken on a methanol plant in West Virginia.

Officials on Wednesday celebrated the start of construction on the US Methanol plant in Institute.

Gov. Jim Justice says the plant will convert natural gas to methanol for use by existing chemical plants.

US Methanol is relocating the facility from Brazil. Chief Executive Frank Bakker has said the company will provide methanol as feedstock for the chemical industry in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states.

The plant will produce 200,000 tons of methanol per year. It is expected to have 50 permanent positions and 300 construction jobs and will open by late next year.

The West Virginia Economic Development Authority in May approved a $10 million loan for the project.

Methanol is used

Read more >

WVU-led study indicates WV, OH and PA could support job growth by storing ethane


Alex Wiederspiel/WVMetroNews
Doug Patchen of the WVU AIONGC, led the study.
MetroNews | August 29, 2017 | By Alex Wiederspiel

CANONSBURG, Pa. — West Virginia University’s Energy Institute, along with assorted partners, presented it’s first findings to the public Tuesday to showcase the region’s ability to attract and support the petrochemical industry through the use of gas storage hubs.

Doug Patchen, the director of WVU Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Consortium, said

Read more >

Letter: Thanks senators for FERC vote

Gazette Mail | August 21, 2017

We thank Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, who worked to help ensure a vote would be taken to confirm Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before the U.S. Senate adjourned for the August recess.

Read more >

Peer companies in natural gas industry assist in flood relief

CLARKSBURG — Companies in the oil and natural gas industry sprang into action after areas of West Virginia experienced devastating flooding July 29.

“West Virginians support one another in tough times,” said Anne Blankenship, executive director of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association, in a press release.


Read more >

Report Finds Oil & Gas Industry Supports Over 70,000 WV Jobs



CONTACT:                                                                                         NEWS RELEASE

Anne Blankenship                                                                               August 2, 2017

Executive Director

(304) 343-1609


Report Finds Oil & Gas Industry Supports Over 70,000 WV Jobs


Charleston, WV – According to a Pricewaterhouse Coopers report released on Aug. 1, West Virginia’s natural gas and oil industry supported 70,900 jobs (direct and indirect) and added $8 billion to the state economy in 2015, the most recent year for which 

Read more >

Fracking not the problem some make it out to be

Charleston Gazette-Mail | May 1, 2017

Hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, according to a study by Duke University scientists released this month. But accidental spills of fracking wastewater may pose a threat to surface water in the region, the scientists said.

The three-year study, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, concluded what many in the natural gas industry have been saying for years: The extreme risks opponents claim fracking poses aren’t true.


Read more >

Duke fracking study finds no contamination of ground water due to fracking

The Exponent Telegram | Charles Young - Staff Writer | April 26, 2017


CLARKSBURG — Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in Northwestern West Virginia, according to a recently released study by scientists at Duke University.

“The study was able to measure a very wide range of chemical tracers in wells before and after fracking in West Virginia,” said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Vengosh was in charge of the project.

“Basically, the bottom line is that we do not see an effect of fracking on the groundwater quality,” he said.


Read more >

MarkWest to invest over 200M in Sherwood Plant


Darlene J. Swiger/ The Exponent Telegram 

MarkWest employees look over plans for sizing pipelines for Doddridge County area. From left are: Dustin Vincent, Project Manager; Jason Davis, Senior Designer; and Josh Sill, Facility Engineer.


MarkWest, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MPLX, has expanded its operations in West Virginia and continues to grow, with more than $200 million in construction underway in Doddridge County and more than $100 million in planned upgrades in Marshall County.

Read more >

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