Oil & Natural Gas

Marcellus Shale Resources

West Virginia is home of one of the largest Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits on the East Coast. As landowners and community members began asking questions of WVU Extension agents about this topic, we began our work to learn more, gather experts and create the resources to respond.

Upcoming Programs

Making Sense of Natural Gas Pipelines and Right-of-Way Agreements
Presenters: Dave Messersmith, Penn State Extension Educator and Brad
Stephens, Stephens Law Office.

Topics will include:
  • Pipeline construction
  • Landowner considerations
  • Surface and landscape impacts
  • Right-of-way (ROW) agreements and addenda
  • Understanding the eminent domain process
  • Valuing ROW

October 12-Randolph County
October 13-Nicholas County
October 14-Lewis County

All programs start at 6:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Georgette Plaugher at 304-329-1391 or download the flyer with directions HERE .

Understanding Unitization of Interests or “Forced Pooling”

Special thanks to our Presenters from the July programs in Ohio and Doddridge Counties:

Joshua Fershee, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor of Law, WVU College of Law; Delegate Lynwood “Woody” Ireland (R-Ritchie, 07); Delegate Pat McGeehan (R-Hancock, 01); and Senator Mike Romano (D-Harrison, 12) for making the program successful.

You can view presentations by the presenters by clicking on their names below. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these presentations. Click HERE to download.

Joshua Fershee's Presentation
Delegate Ireland's Presentation

Future programs in other areas of the state are currently being planned.

Check back regularly for more information.

Hot Topics

Natural Gas Pipelines in West Virginia

Click Here and scroll down to “Natural Gas Pipelines” for up-to-date information and links about natural gas pipelines in West Virginia

Pipeline Damage Prevention Guide for Excavators, Homeowners, and Farmers
A joint publication from Williams, WVU Extension Service, and 811.

WVU Extension’s Educational Role

The WVU Extension Service’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Unit formed a team to develop educational programming about natural gas exploration in the Marcellus shale. Team members include county extension agents, WVU geologists and water quality experts, representatives of the DEP, and representatives from industry, community and environmental groups.
Initial funding for the educational programs is provided by Chesapeake Energy, EQT, and Dominion.


The growth and development of the Marcellus shale in West Virginia creates both opportunities and concerns for public and private landowners, local communities, and local and state governments.

West Virginia citizens and landowners have voiced many questions about the gas exploration process, fundamentals of leasing, and environmental concerns.

WVU Extension Service’s Goals and Objectives

WVU Extension Service’s oil and natural gas team will enhance programming to provide the expertise and knowledge that the citizens of West Virginia need to make informed decisions about the oil and natural gas industry.
View a complete list of goals and objectives

Additional Publications & Information

View a list of publications and web links to information surrounding

  • Exploration and Natural Gas Development
  • Economic Impacts of Natural Gas Exploration
  • Environmental Issues and Impacts
  • Regulation
  • Agenda and Locations of Educational Programs

Educational Programs & Presentations

Educational Programs
WVU Extension Service hosts educational programs within counties and communities across the state.

For a listing of upcoming sessions, view the Oil & Natural Gas Calendar on the right side of this screen or view them on the Educational Programs page.

View reviewed and approved PDF versions Presentations from expert speakers on a variety of topics.