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Gas Revenue Outlook Bleak

Last month, West Virginia Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow bemoaned declines in the demand for both natural gas and metallurgical coal, as he explained shortcomings in the state’s revenue collection — and an uncertain outlook that may require a midyear spending cut by state government.

Muchow’s report drew the attention of Natural Gas Intelligence’s Shale Daily, in a piece that does little to boost optimism.

According to Shale Daily, natural gas producers in Appalachia are still reducing spending and workforce, in response to lower prices while investors continue to expect healthy returns. The news site reports production in our region is “poised to slow down as operators curb activity and a pipeline buildout comes to a close.”

In fact, the assessment of the coming months for the industry was that, “Prices through the remainder of the winter look weak.”

Surely Mountain State lawmakers are paying attention, and working up their courage now to go after another layer of fraud and waste in our bureaucracy. It seems as though they will have little choice, in January.

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