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The future of the oil and gas industry in West Virginia

Our two companies differ — in size, in approach to drilling for natural gas, in well size and in geographic reach.

But when it comes to the future of our industry, we speak with one voice. And that’s why we’re thrilled to be a part of the Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia, which was recently born with the combination of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association and the Independent Oil and Gas Association.

Antero Resources is the largest natural gas producer in the state, and most of its operations and employees are right here in West Virginia.

Pillar Energy is an independent production company headquartered in the Mountain State, operating 2,000 wells.

For decades, the two groups have had varied goals, missions and priorities.

Not anymore. The time is now to grow our industry and strengthen West Virginia’s economy.

GO-WV has more than 600 members, including producers, pipeline operators, local distribution companies, affiliate businesses and trade organizations — now united and working together under one name.

Our mission is to encourage and project unity. We aim to strengthen and move our industry and state forward. No matter how many wells you possess or how big those wells are, we face the same concerns. We need commonsense, predictable regulations. We need policies that encourage jobs and investment. We need West Virginians to understand our safe and responsible practices and the potential our industry holds.

By combining these organizations, both big and small operators and producers can work together cohesively — offering a new dynamic, developing new ideas and initiatives and using their deep knowledge base to address issues as well as seek opportunities within the industry.

Iron sharpens iron.

We also will continue to promote the positive economic and environmental impact our industry has on the Mountain State.

We know that our industry can lift the tide of the state’s economy, and we know that we are stronger when we pull together. From large operators, to small operators, to pipeline companies, to processors, to utilities — we need everyone under the same tent with one singular voice. That synergy makes us more effective and enables our story to be told more clearly.

We know that our state’s top paying sector is facing a bevy of challenges on the road ahead. Whether it be the ongoing global pandemic, low commodity prices or regulatory restrictions, we have our work cut out for us.

We have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. We need all shoulders behind the wheel, and we are proud to stand side-by-side with our colleagues in one dynamic association.

The past year has taught us many things about our nation’s infrastructure, economy, health care and everything in between. We can apply what we’ve learned to create a more prosperous economic environment, strengthening both our workforce and bringing downstream opportunities to West Virginia.

One takeaway that cannot be overstated is the importance of manufacturing within the United States. Now more than ever, it is evident just how vital the oil and natural gas industry is to our manufacturing sector, not only on a state level, but on a global scale as well.

As West Virginians, we’ve faced challenges our entire lives. We’re built for adversity, and we know how to persevere through tough times. We help out our fellow neighbors.

West Virginia has extraordinary potential, and together — with our fellow West Virginians, with policymakers, with colleagues, with our workforce — we are going to push this state ahead.

And make no mistake — we’re speaking with one voice.

(Ellis is regional vice president of Antero Resources and Isner is the CEO Pillar Energy.)

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