Shale Gas Report

shale gas
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Realizing West Virginia’s Potential


Value added opportunities from natural gas

Natural gas production from shale rock has transformed our nation’s energy landscape in ways that are well-documented; yet much remains to be learned about its potentially exciting future. New technologies like horizontal drilling have unlocked vast deposits of natural gas and this newly tapped domestic energy has the capacity to reignite our country’s manufacturing sector, change the way we fuel our vehicles, power our homes, and even transform the global balance of power.  

The Marcellus and Utica shale underlie West Virginia, but comprehensive research about how West Virginians might be well-positioned to benefit from the resource is lacking.  Vision Shared commissioned the Marshall University Center for Business and Economic Research to provide a report on the state’s ability to grow investment, jobs, and wealth as a result of this natural resource.

This paper is not intended to advocate for specific policy positions.  Rather, an exploration of options is brought forward from a well-considered background of West Virginia’s strengths.

Neither is the paper intended to weigh in the debate about the environment, which has already been the subject of much published research. Safe and environmentally-responsible production is a foundation of any effort addressing the development goals of long-term growth and wealth generation.
  Among the discussion points:

  • The number of new crackers needed to take advantage of supplies of ethane.
  • How natural gas vehicles are being used in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
  • How manufacturers in West Virginia can benefit from low-cost feed stock, directly and through intermediate products.
  • Investment being experienced in West Virginia as gas processing capacity is added.
  • A discussion of smaller, regional crackers versus “world-scale” cracking facilities.
  • The long term outlook for natural gas supply and pricing.

Vision Shared believes there is great potential for all West Virginians to benefit from Marcellus and Utica Shale resources, but also recognizes that opportunity is not a guarantee.  It is in the best interest of the state that we work to understand the full potential of these resources and strive to maximize the benefits for all with a responsible and long range perspective.

Click here to review the full report.