Updated West Virginia Marcellus Shale datasets on our DataTool


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I have posted updates of West Virginia’s Marcellus Shale permit and well data onto our FracTracker DataTool. The information was downloaded from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Office of Oil and Gas website.

I searched the DEP website for Marcellus Shale wells and found 1,463 different locations. When I looked at the at permit data, I got almost 12,000 records for 1,464 Marcellus Shale distinct wells.  It seems difficult to believe that all but one permitted well has already been drilled, and a closer look at the data shows that really can’t be the case.

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In this dataset, there are 1,338 Marcellus Shale permits issued (green), 21 permits canceled (red), and 39 permit applications returned (yellow).

Of those permit records, only 1,338 are listed as having the permit issued. Unlike the Pennsylvania well list which includes only spuded wells, it seems that the West Virginia DEP thinks of the well list as a summary of the permit list, rather than a list of sites that have actually been drilled. In addition, West Virginia does not include the spud date on their oil and gas well data. Instead, they use the date for the last permit that was received for the well, which in no way indicates whether drilling activity has commenced.

I have contacted the West Virginia DEP for clarification on this point, and will share their response as a comment on this space.