Gas Drilling Near New Vrindaban Update

The drilling at our neighbor on the ridge’s well pad site, known as Snyder 1H, near Bahulaban has been completed and the horizontal drilling rig is being removed. That is why there has been an up tick in the truck traffic the last few days.

The next step will be the fracing. The gas company has made arrangements to get water from our local water board, Public Service District #3 (PSD#3) in one month’s time. PSD#3 will set up a temporary meter at the hydrant by Billy Aston’s (about ½ mile onto the ridge from Rt. 250) and will run a temporary over the ground pipeline from there to the drill pad site.

This is good because it means they won’t have to truck the water in and that will save a lot of traffic.

FYI, the water supplied by PSD#3 comes from the Moundsville water treatment plant. They have 5 deep wells with a capacity of 17 million gallons a day, of which they currently only use a fraction, so there is plenty of water available.

After the fracing is completed, they will flare the well, which means they open up the valves and burn it off for a week or so.

The pipeline that passes through Bahulaban is currently being constructed. New Vrindaban reps had met with the pipeline company and adjusted their original route to avoid the maximum amount of trees and all spring catches and historical sites.

The first step is completed. They stripped the top soil off and stacked it to the side. After they dig the trench, install the pipeline and back fill it, they will spread the topsoil back, then reseed and mulch it.

The Snyder1H well is not on property owned or managed by the New Vrindaban corporations and is being drilled pursuant to a lease signed in 2006. We have no influence on what goes on there but it is close to Bahulaban so we have been keeping an eye on it as far as we can.

We are mostly dependent on state regulations to protect us and they are, in our opinion, currently inadequate.

When we were negotiating our leases, we hired an environmental activist attorney so we could get a more suitable lease then the standard gas company leases that are skewed heavily in favor of the gas companies.

His name is David McMahon and for years he has been lobbying the West Virginia State Legislature for better regulations. There is legislation being considered in the current session that he is pushing.

While it covers many aspects, one example is they want to increase the number of gas well inspectors from 17 to 100.

He was one of the main founders of the West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization (WVSORO). They have an excellent website at

There is contact information for State legislators and they are encouraging people to contact them. Legislators are politicians and they are swayed by hearing from people.

We would like to encourage anyone who is concerned about these gas drilling issues to get involved with WVSORO because now is the time for action and the more people that get involved the more likely positive results can be obtained. This is a real alternative to feeling helpless or simply complaining – you can make a difference.

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