CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia has received $18 million so far from leases granted to state officials to drill for oil and natural gas below state wildlife management areas and waterways, including beneath the Ohio River.
But as natural gas prices stay low, state officials say they’ve only received up-front checks so far, and no royalties for unearthing the resources from the deep shale deposits. No companies with state leases have begun extracting gas, as far as state Department of Commerce officials know.
The department first put the deep, horizontal drilling leases out to bid in fall 2014.
Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette says much of the money will go back into wildlife management programs. Some will fund parks projects, ranging from upgrades at cabins to campground improvements.