West Virginia ranked number 10 as the best place worldwide to invest in oil and natural gas, according to the Fraser Institute's annual Global Petroleum Survey. The Calgary-based think tank's sixth annual survey ranked 147 jurisdictions. Oklahoma took the top spot, with Mississippi finishing second. Ohio, which ranked second overall in 2011, fell to 14th place this year, and Pennsylvania came in at number 34. New York was the worst-ranked state, at 68th place.
The Global Petroleum Survey is administered each year to petroleum industry executives to help measure and rank the barriers to investment of oil- and natural gas-producing regions. A total of 623 respondents representing 529 companies completed the survey questionnaire this year, providing sufficient data to evaluate 147 jurisdictions. The exploration and development budgets of participating companies account for more than 50 percent of the annual spending on petroleum exploration and production among international oil companies. The survey questionnaire sought opinions on issues such as royalties and other forms of petroleum production tax, taxation in general, the cost of regulatory compliance, trade and labor regulations, legal system fairness and transparency, and political stability.