- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Those involved in a West Virginia University fracking project are praising its success after the first year.

The Exponent Telegram reports (https://bit.ly/1Y247Kr) WVU began the Marcellus Shale Energy Environmental Laboratory project last June.

The study is meant to give a look at the hydraulic fracking process over five years.

Those involved in the project say it has put West Virginia and the school at the cutting edge of research.

Brian Anderson, professor of chemical engineering and director of the WVU Energy Institute, says two production wells were drilled last fall, along with a scientific observation well.

“Everything went swimmingly. Of course, some of the schedules were changed with the rain last June, but it was really a huge success during the stimulation drilling in the early part of the test,” Anderson said.

Anderson says he has spoken about the impact of the project in China, and that delegations from Colombia and Mexico have visited regarding the project.

“It puts us in a unique position to lead in this globally,” he said.

Charlie Burd, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, said that’s exactly where the state should be.

“We should be at the cutting edge, we should be at the forefront, because the largest natural gas reserves in the world lie under Monongalia County, combined with Marcellus and Utica,” he said. “Hundreds of years of natural gas supply lies there. It is only appropriate that this would be the place such information would be garnered.”

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