The development of the Marcellus Shale play in West Virginia has the potential for significant economic development for the state, according to a new report from the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics, Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER). The report also examines potential impacts associated with the development of the shale play from 2010 to 2015 as well as the legal, regulatory and environmental issues associated with further development.
"West Virginia's natural gas industry accounted for over $12 billion in business volume and created over 24,400 jobs in 2009,"said Dr. Tom S. Witt, BBER director and co-author of the study. "Out of this total, our study estimates that the Marcellus Shale play accounted for the creation of 7,600 jobs and $2.35 billion in business volume, making it a significant contributor to the economic health of our state. The potential exists for upwards of nearly 20,000 jobs by 2015 if drilling grows at a 20 percent rate each year."