The West Virginia Department of Commerce will allow hydraulic fracturing under the Ohio River, according to reports from local media outlets. The state had previously leased out about 474 acres of land in Marshall and Wetzel counties and retains a 20% royalty of the produced resources. Statoil (ticker: STO) has already finalized a deal with an average cost of about $9,000 per acre. Other producers, including Noble Energy (ticker: NBL) and Gastar (ticker: GST), are in the process of finalizing drilling contracts.

Statoil holds a prominent pos...


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