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Current Issues and Events

WV SORO 2024 Legislative Summary; ALERT: Landmen Buying Pore Space Rights
Updates and Alerts WVSORO Mar 19 2024
Below is a summary of WV SORO's actions on bills during the 2024 West Virginia Legislature's regular session, which ended March 9. During the session we also learned that there are land agents going door to door trying to get surface owners to sign away rights to the pore space in the rock formations under their land, and we need to educate surface owners about that. So this is intended to kill two birds with one stone. We will start with the alert since it is shorter. More
Issues: LeasingLegislationPore space
WVSORO comments to Bureau of Land Management on new federal lands oil and gas leasing bonding rule that will guarantee future orphaned wells.
Blog WVSORO Oct 31 2023
WVSORO can find no examples of where bonding paid the full cost of plugging when a well owner goes out of business.  Instead the driller should stat setting aside money when the well first goes not line (when there is money).  And blanket/statewide bonding is sure to fail. More
A judge rules surface owners with unplugged, inactive wells on them can sue the driller to make them plug the well or sue for money to plug the well
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO Apr 22 2023
Diversified and EQT say that surface owners can't sue about unplugged wells because the drillers have entered into well plugging consent orders with the DEP. Because the consent order of Diversified would only require the plugging of wells in 400 years and for other reasons the judge ruled that surface owners can sue. More
Issues: Oil and Gas
WVSORO comments on newest proposed EPA methane rule.
Blog WVSORO Feb 20 2023
EPA's proposed rule only requires inspections of well sites by "AVO" -- audio, visual, and olfactory means.  We are not making this up!  Methane has no smell, and can't be seen, and only big leaks make sounds!   Handheld methane detectors start at $31 to $100 dollars and should be used! More
Issues: EPAMethaneOil and Gas
WVSORO Points Out that Much More Funding Is Needed for Many More Inspectors
Blog WVSORO Feb 7 2023
See the latest under Newslinks for where we are February 4, 2023.  Right now the Legislation will only give us half the inspectors per wells that Pennsylvania and Ohio have. Contact your legislators and ask for more -- at least 45 -- at this web site. More
Issues: DEPOil and Gas

New Resources and Advice

Should surface owners sign pore space lease etc. papers? If so, how much money should you get?
Advice WVSORO Mar 7 2024
What should you do if someone knocks on your door and wants to lease the pore space in the formations under your surface land? More
Surface Owners’ News – 2023 Annual Print Edition
Newsletter Julie Archer Nov 30 2023
In this issue: Surface Owners Can Sue Drillers to Plug Non-Producing Wells; Advocacy on Federal Regulations including the Third Payout of Federal Methane Reduction Funds, EPA's Methane Rule, and Federal Leasing; 2023 Legislative Update; Kanawha State Forest Gas Well Tour with WV Legislators and Staff; Farmland Preservation Now An Option for Surface-Only Owners; Citizen Air Monitoring Project; 2024 Legislative Priorities More
Issues: Abandoned wellsDEPEPAHorizontal wellsLand useOrphaned wells
Have  you been threatened with forced pooling/unitization?  Have your received papers giving you notice of a forced pooling/unitization hearing? 
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO Jun 7 2022
This is WVSORO's advice to mineral owners (and assurance to surface owners) after passage of forced pooling/unitization legislation effective June, 2022. More
Issues: Pooling
Surface Owners’ News – 2022 Annual Print Edition
Newsletter Julie Archer Nov 19 2022
In this issue: Some Orphaned Wells Are Starting to Get Plugged, But We Need Orphened Well Prevention Legislation; Plugging On You; Why the EPA Should Use Inflation Reduction Act Money to Find Fugitive Methane; 2022 Forced Pooling/Unitization Bill Protects Surface Owners; What to Do If You're Threatened with Forced Pooling/Unitization/Co-Tenancy; 2023 Legislative Priorities More
Issues: Abandoned wellsEPAOrphaned wellsPooling
Why an old well is plugged, not “capped”; and how a well is supposed to be plugged; and why a lot of oversight of well pluggers is needed.
Resource Gallery WVSORO May 4 2022
WVSORO has created a new slide show on its website that shows how well plugging should be done, to show how plugging it is not “capping” a well, and to explain why plugging companies need lots of oversight to prevent well pluggers from yielding to the financial temptation to do an easily hidden bad job. More
Drillers can NOT pool a mineral owner’s lease without authorization!
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO Nov 8 2016
UPDATE: WE WERE RIGHT! There is no "implied right to pool" in a lease.
If a driller tries to talk you into a lease amendment (some of our members also owns minerals) by saying this, you really need to educate yourself on this web page. More

Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingPooling

Special Reports and Commentary

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