Well Sites Examined

We examined 50 well sites, almost all of which were in Kanawha and Putnam counties. These sites were active, abandoned, plugged, and storage natural gas well and included two Underground Injection Control IID sites for disposal of waste. After looking at just a few sites we began to develop a list of problems or issues we were noticing at a number of issues:

  • Missing or improper API number on the well head as required by state regulation
  • Inadequate secondary containment for aboveground storage tanks as required by state regulation
  • Leaks or spills
  • Maintenance issues
  • Improper drainage, sediment control, and drainage for well pads and roads
  • Trash on sites

We created a Gas Well Study report for each year from 2008 through 2013 which discussed these and other issues.

2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Some well sites visited from 2009 included a closer examination of possible contamination of soil and water. We also examined effects of liquid application with varying concentrations of chloride on one common woodland vegetation species. This was partly influenced by US Forest Service research on the effects of land application of liquid waste from a gas well drilled in the Fernow Experimental Forest. More information is available here on this site about that.

Environmental Assessment Materials

Well Sites Visited

We have a table showing the sites visited with API number, location descriptor, and county. The API number is a link to a page or pages about that site.

There's a YouTube video which shows how we look at a site.

The Process

We have a page describing the process that developed over time for how we look at oil and gas sites. A few years ago we had online classes in conjunction with the West Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club. Materials for the 2013 workshop provide an overview for those interested in learning more about how to look at oil and gas sites in West Virginia and elsewhere.

Gas Well Site Visits

Examining Well Sites
How We Examined Well Sites
Environmental Assessment

Table with Links to Wells Visited

47-039-05714 Environmental Assessment
47-079-01492 Environmental Assessment
47-039-02026 Environmental Assessment

2013 Gas Well Workshop


Gas Well Study is the examination of natural gas wells in West Virginia.

Underground Injection Control Class 2 Wells
These wells are used either for the disposal of oil and gas liquid waste or for the enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas.

Gas Well Study Site Visits
Annual reports, environmental assessments, and individual well information.

YouTube Videos
Select videos from the Gas Well Study YouTube channel.

What Happened at Fernow
An investigation into what caused the vegetation death in the land application area after landspraying hydraulic fracture flowback waste.

The Spill at Buckeye Creek
An investigation into a spill from a Marcellus well site into Buckeye Creek in Doddridge county.