The Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia is very pleased to inform you that several of the legislative initiatives it supported have been signed into law by Governor Jim Justice. As the signing deadline ended at midnight last night, March 25, the following pro oil and natural gas industry legislation became law:
House Bill 4001: The West Virginia Impact Fund creates the West Virginia Impact Fund to further economic development, infrastructure development and job creation in the State of West Virginia through investment of the assets of the fund. The sovereign wealth fund will establish a depository for foreign investment into the state for major economic projects. Such projects as the Appalachian Storage Hub or ethane cracker projects are what are envisioned. IOGAWV congratulates Speaker Roger Hanshaw for his intellectual crafting of the bill and his tenacity in getting it passed with unilateral and bipartisan support from both Chambers.
House Bill 4019: The Downstream Natural Gas Manufacturing Investment Tax Act Of 2020
establishes a system of investment credits based on qualified investment property and new jobs created. This legislation will can be crucial to the future development of chemical and industrial facilities associated with the storage and use of NGL’s.
House Bill 4090: The Marginal Well / Plugging Legislation redefines marginal oil and natural gas wells (excluding wells utilizing horizontal drilling techniques targeting shale formations), reduces the severance tax paid on such wells, as well as dedicates funds to the newly created “Oil and Gas Abandoned Well Plugging Fund” to be used to plug qualified abandoned oil and gas wells. This legislation will be of great benefit to conventional well producers and dedicates much needed revenue to the plugging of orphaned and abandoned wells – something that is a priority for industry to resolve without having to become the party that becomes responsible for the cost.
House Bill 4091: The Expedited Permitting Bill establishes the fee and process to obtain expedited oil and natural gas horizontal well permits and expedited permit modifications upon the payment of applicable expedited fees.
House Bill 4217: Containing Revisions to The Deep Well Spacing Rule crafted to support and enhance the drilling of horizontal wells and eliminates the current 3,000-foot surface spacing requirement in addition to other downhole spacing criteria. These new rules were fully endorsed by the WVDEP Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
House Bill 4421: The Natural Gas Liquids Economic Development Act Of 202 is designed to encourage the storage and transportation of natural gas liquids for the benefit of natural gas projects in the state through specific tax credits to help offset West Virginia ad valorem property tax paid on the value of inventory and equipment.
House Bill 4615: The WV Critical Infrastructure Protection Act established criminal penalties for persons convicted of willfully trespassing or entering property containing a critical infrastructure facility without permission by the owner of the property. Critical infrastructure facilities include nearly all oil and natural gas facilities related to compression, transportation, processing, storage, natural gas distribution facilities and crude oil piping.
House Bill 4661: Incentivized Drilling And Utility Cost Recover will permit a natural gas utility to make a proposal to the Public Service Commission for incentivized natural gas drilling in underserved areas and permits a natural gas utility to recover the cost reasonably necessary to convert a customer to an alternate fuel source when gas service to that customer has been abandoned. Effectively, this also affords the utility greater flexibility in abandoning service in certain instances.
Senate Bill 802: The Direct Serve Bill gives a producer or producers an opportunity to provide direct natural gas service to NEW large volume users from natural gas produced in West Virginia. This allows a situation in which new development projects with large natural gas consumption planned to be able to contract with a producer or producers and bypass public utilities for delivery of the gas at a negotiated price. This is a win-win for both the producer and the new development project.
For the full details of these or other 2020 legislation, please go online at http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Status/bill_status.cfm or call Charlie Burd at 304-482-2619.