Oil, natural gas trade groups join forces

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The two trade organizations that represent oil and natural gas interests in West Virginia are joining forces.

Members of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV) and West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) announced Monday their recent vote to merge into one organization called the Gas and Oil Association of WV (GO-WV).

Charlie Burd, who has been executive director of IOGAWV, will lead the new organization. He said during an appearance Monday on MetroNews “Talkline” the combined group can send a stronger message.

“It will maybe not change a lot but it will just come from a stronger voice to encourage investment and development of our industry in the state,” Burd said.

He said the industry is currently strong and has benefited from the last four years of the Trump administration but agreed the current glut of natural gas needs to be moved out through pipelines.

“We have abundant clean-burning natural gas for use in power production, in downstream uses for manufacturing and petro-chemicals and we continue to work as advocates for construction of pipelines,” Burd said.

The new Biden administration possible stand against fossil fuels can be a cause for concern, Burd said, but they’d rather focus on the strengths of the industry.

“We’re very optimistic that we’ll be able to work with the new administration and make them be convinced of the importance of, not just being energy independent in this country, but being energy dominate,” Burd said.

A Monday news release said GO-WV would have more than 600 members including producers, pipeline operators, local distribution companies, affiliate businesses and trade organizations.

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