Marcellus Shale Well Permits Take How Long?

by Kenneth E. DuBose on July 3, 2011

West Virginia’s typical well takes 45 days to get approved, but permitting ranges from 4 to 120 days.  New regulations and more activity have slowed the process in the state.  A special session in August might include additional Marcellus Shale regulations.  Currently, it’s not clear if that will help or hinder the process.

“How long does it take for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to approve a Marcellus permit?””It depends on a lot of things. Is it horizontal or vertical? Is the paperwork done right? Are there site issues or challenges from surface owners who don’t own the mineral rights? Those are just a few examples, the DEP said.”

“In Preston County, there are 32 active Marcellus shale gas drilling permits — 28 horizontal, four vertical. Four other permits are pending approval. One additional permit was canceled at the driller’s request, probably because it proved unproductive, the DEP said.”

“Permit approval — from the date an application was received — ranged from four days to 122. (Active permits means the permits were issued; they may not yet be drilled. Companies have two years from date of permit issue to begin drilling, according to the DEP).”

Read the full news release at

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