Charles Young | July 3, 2022

WV News

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — West Virginia’s oil and gas production increased by about 6% in 2021, according to an annual report from the Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia.

This production increase, to a total output of more than 2.7 trillion cubic feet, drove a 10% increase in state severance and local property taxes collected.

In total, more than $319 million in tax revenue was generated directly from gas and oil operators during Fiscal Year 2021, according to GO-WV Executive Director Charlie Burd. Burd “West Virginia’s energy abundance is cornerstone to the strength and security of our state,” Burd said.

“In addition to being a significant economic contributor, having a flexible, readily available energy source has fueled broad business and manufacturing growth that drives prosperity here at home,” he said.

The report, titled “Gas Facts,” uses data compiled by the state Department of Environmental Protection, the state Tax Department, the state Treasurer’s Office and Workforce West Virginia to provide an annual overview of economic, employment and consumer data pertaining to the gas and oil industry.

“Our goal was to provide messages of hope for the Mountain State when GO-WV launched at the end of 2020,” Burd said. “Through collaboration and a recognition from elected officials — in Charleston and in Washington, D.C. — on the essential nature of American energy, we’re fulfilling that goal while leading West Virginia’s energy, manufacturing and economic revival.”

Since 2008, the oil and gas industry has contributed more than $3 billion in state severance and property tax revenue. With three-quarters of the current fiscal year already in the books, state severance tax collections of coal, oil and gas are nearly $560 million, with around $358 million from natural gas and oil collections.

GO-WV estimates more than 82,000 West Virginia jobs are either directly or indirectly linked to natural gas and oil sector, with more than $5.2 billion added to the state’s total labor income.

For each direct job in the oil and gas industry, 1.5 jobs are generated elsewhere in the state’s economy.

The state’s total natural gas production output has continued to increase each year since 2017, according to the report.

Total natural gas output was 1,514,277,709 million cubic feet in 2017; 1,771,697,951 mcf in 2018; 2,155,757,252 mcf in 2019; 2,518,628,518 mcf in 2020; and 2,673,622,267 in 2021.

The state’s total oil production increased each year from 2017 to 2020, but dipped in 2021. Total oil production output was 7,558,169 barrels in 2017; 12,085,570 barrels in 2018; 17,293,042 barrels in 2019; 19,425,914 barrels in 2020; and 17,899,108 in 2021.

The state’s top natural gas producers in 2021, in order, were: Antero Resources, SWN Production, EQT, Tug Hill Operating, HG Energy, Northeast Natural Energy, Diversified, CNX Gas, Jay-Bee Oil & Gas and Arsenal Resources.

The state’s top oil producers in 2021, in order, were: SWN, Antero Resources, Tug Hill Operating, EQT, CNX Gas, HG Energy, Jay-Bee Oil and Diversified.

West Virginia is the nation’s fifth largest energy producer, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

West Virginia is a net energy supplier to other states and provides about 5% of the nation’s total energy, almost half of it from coal production.

However, because of increases in natural gas and natural gas liquids production from the Marcellus and Utica shales in northern West Virginia, natural gas surpassed coal for the first time in 2019 and became the largest contributor to the state’s energy economy.

In 2019, West Virginia had the third-largest natural gas reserves of any state. It overlies part of the Marcellus Shale area, one of the largest natural gas-producing areas in the nation.

Production from the Marcellus and Utica-Point Pleasant shale formations contributed to the state’s rank as the nation’s fifth-largest producer of marketed natural gas in 2020.

In 2014, West Virginia’s annual natural gas production exceeded 1 trillion cubic feet for the first time. In 2019, the energy value of the state’s natural gas production surpassed that of West Virginia’s coal production for the first time.