More Natural Gas Drilling Development

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It's the type of plant that can provide enough natural gas to heat as many as 10,000 homes.

The Sherwood I processing operation is one of three which will open during the next 12 months in Doddridge and Harrison counties.

"These gas plants are a critical part of the value chain and the overall operation,"says Frank Semple, President, MarkWest Energy Partners, "to be able to extract the natural gas from the ground, and ultimately deliver it to market."

Semple's company works with a natural gas production firm which has a dozen rigs running in this region. Its chairman says it's also committed to hiring from the local area.

"The latest tally is that we're at a little over 70% of these 3500 West Virginia residents," says Paul Rady, Chairman, Antero Resources.

MarkWest calls Doddridge County a "sweet spot" for gas production. It also says the process produces minimal, if any waste products.

The announcement comes exactly one year after the West Virginia Legislature enacted a series of new regulations for the drilling industry.

"And Antero, in particular, is very safety conscious as far as the residents go," says Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. "We have the safety inspectors out to make sure the companies do things the way they are supposed to."

Both companies estimate that, once the three processing plants are completed, they could produce a billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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