- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed legislation allowing companies to transfer oil and natural gas horizontal drilling well permits.

Tomblin says in a news release that the measure streamlines the transfer process of well work permits. It eliminates a requirement that companies re-apply for permits when they acquire assets from existing operations in West Virginia.

The change approved Wednesday will help Southwestern Energy Co., which bought $5 billion in assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. last October.

Both the House and the Senate fast-tracked votes on the bill.

Southwestern president and chief operating officer Bill Way says in the release that the legislation’s bipartisan support sets an example for lawmakers across the nation.

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