Changes in Gas Industry To Be Discussed at WVONGA Annual Meeting

The State Journal
3 September 2011

The meeting is scheduled for Sept. 28-29 at Stonewall Jackson Resort near Weston.

The West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association is expanding the agenda for its annual fall conference in an effort to accommodate dramatic changes in the state’s natural gas industry, according to an organization spokesman.

Unprecedented development of reserves contained in the Marcellus shale in northern West Virginia has resulted in an onrush of issues, including the industry’s ability to regulate itself and manage regulatory demands from environmental groups and state and federal agencies.

“The issues have now gotten to be so broad and there are so many timely things going on that it’s been hard to manage it all,” WVONGA executive director Corky DeMarco said of the agenda for the Sept. 28-29 event to be held at Stonewall Jackson Resort near Weston.

Thanks largely to advances in drilling technology, exploration of the deeply buried Marcellus shale has vastly expanded in West Virginia in the past year, as have concerns about the environmental impact of drilling and the rights and equitable treatment of property owners at and near drilling sites.

Programs on the agenda thus far concern air-quality issues, industry trends in public outreach, the presence of methane in water wells, property issues within municipalities, industry challenges in Pennsylvania, and emerging issues within the administration in Washington, D.C.

Other conference highlights include dinner with keynote-speaker U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, D-W.Va., and recreational events, including Segway tours of the resort and tours of nearby Lambert’s Winery and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

According to DeMarco, more than 150 persons now attend the association’s annual conferences, an increase of more than 25 persons over previous years before the Marcellus was being explored.

For information on registering for the conference, or to locate exhibitor or sponsorship forms, please visit the association website at