natural gas

Natural Gas/Marcellus Shale

West Virginia is currently ranked the fourth-largest producer of marketed natural gas in the United States, with the state sitting in one of the leading natural gas-producing areas in the nation. Production has greatly increased with the development of the Marcellus Shale. Shale wells now account for nearly 95% of natural gas production and, by the end of 2021, West Virginia’s shale gas reserves exceeded about 39 trillion cubic feet. Additional natural gas production comes from conventional natural gas wells, crude oil wells, and coalbeds. In 2019, West Virginia’s natural gas production energy value surpassed that of the state’s coal production for the first time.

West Virginia is crossed by more than 4,000 miles of interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines. New pipeline projects have come online in recent years to move natural gas from the Marcellus-producing areas of West Virginia to markets in the Northeast, Midwest, and Gulf Coast. Natural gas moves in and out of the state via the interstate pipeline systems, entering West Virginia from the surrounding states, primarily Kentucky, and moving on to Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio. However, more natural gas exits the state than enters because the amount produced in the state is much more than West Virginia's consumption. In 2021, West Virginia provided about 10% of the nation’s total shale gas reserves.

West Virginia has 31 underground natural gas storage fields with a total storage capacity of over 530 billion cubic feet, accounting for almost 6% of the nation's total underground natural gas storage capacity. The proximity of this storage capacity to northeastern markets makes West Virginia an important supplier to the region during the winter months when natural gas demand peaks.

Because of the many miles of pipeline in the state, much of the natural gas consumed in West Virginia is used for pipeline and distribution use. The remaining natural gas consumed in the state is split almost evenly across the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors, with about two-fifths of West Virginia households using natural gas for home heating.

Source: EIA (January 2024)

pipe line