West Virginia's natural gas industry has undergone dramatic changes over the past five years due to the implementation of horizontal drilling and production, and nowhere is this more evident than permitting and production numbers.
According to information provided by the West Virginia DEP, horizontal wells now account for 25 percent of the state's annual natural gas production. That increase is dramatic given that there was no production from horizontal wells just five years ago.
When it comes to permits, the numbers show a similar "seismic shift": in 2006 there were no horizontal well permits....in 2011 more than 500 permits for horizontal wells were issued. At the same time, conventional well permits dropped from 2,400 in 2007 to just 300 in 2011.