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West Virginia's Natural Gas Boon: What Landowners Need to Know

Photo of author, Teresa Michaels, CFP®.
Teresa Michaels, CFP®
Regional Manager and Financial Strategist

According to World Population Review, in 2018* over 1.8 million people call West Virginia home. In addition to the relatively small population (ranked 38th overall) WV ranks 41st in physical size compared to the remaining 49 states. Although WV may be small in stature, we are mighty in the energy power that we provide for not only our residents, but for many others outside of our state boundaries.

Historically, WV has been thought of worldwide as a coal-producing state. The Mountaineers have continued to expand their economic development by accentuating the many natural resources in their region. West Virginia is moving in the right direction with expanding the ability to export natural gas while continuing coal production.

With a renewed surge in energy production, state leaders are poised to expand economic development. The recent analysis provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration is a testament to the many ways West Virginia is moving in the right direction for economic growth.

As recent as August 29, 2018, a court ruling has permitted the continued work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline (Mountain Valley Pipeline Court Action). This project is to develop approximately 304 miles (ironically West Virginia’s area code) of pipeline traveling form northwestern WV through southern VA. The recent court ruling will allow an increasing number of landowners to capitalize on the natural gas that is beneath the surface of their property. It will expand on the exporting of our natural resources to the areas in our country who are in need or are able to export the commodity outside of the United States.

The Leach XPress was mentioned in my previous blog (Landowners: Are you prepared? Oil and Gas Industry ready to ramp up production in OH,WV). As of early 2018, the 160+ miles of pipeline were placed into service (Leach XPress Project Placed into Service). What does all of this mean to the landowner? If you are fortunate enough to benefit from a lease agreement for natural gas rights on your property, increased production should soon follow.

The residents of WV rarely appear in the top quartile of millions per capita. We can, however, capitalize on the growth that our region is experiencing in relation to the energy sector. We may be small, but we are mighty powerful.

Be prepared. Educate yourself or surround yourself with those who are familiar with natural gas leases and the depletion rates of the gas on your property. McKinley Carter Wealth Services has worked with a senior reservoir engineer to develop a tool - Oil and Gas Royalty Analyzer - to better help you, the landowner, anticipate the fluctuation in income generated by the natural gas production of the wells on your property. We can help you better understand your future cash flow from anticipated royalty checks – based on the anticipated gas prices as well as the depletion rate of the wells on your property. We can assist you in managing your total financial situation.

We look forward to lending our expertise so that we can continue “Investing in a Good Life” within the communities we serve. Call us today for more information about the Oil & Gas Royalty Analyzer at 866.306.2400.

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