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Current Issues and Events

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
If you find out there is a proposal to plug an oil or gas well on your land, what should you do?
Abandoned Well AdviceAdvice WVSORO Jul 19 2022
A big increase in well plugging is starting to happen. To know how you should react go to our web page, and do so right away! More
Issues: Abandoned wells
Comments submitted on Department of the Interior guidance for first $25 Million to plug orphaned wells
Blog WVSORO Apr 1 2022
WVSORO commented on the Department of the Interior's draft guidance for the first $25 Million coming to West Virginia to plug orphaned wells pursuant to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021.  More
Issues: Abandoned wellsOrphaned wells
SB 694 passed by the 2022 Legislature authorizing forced unitization of mineral tracts is OK because it is good for surface owners, and OK for mineral owners
BlogLeasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO Mar 14 2022
Forced unitization bills, often termed "forced pooling" bills, have been very controversial for years.  WVSORO has always said a good forced pooling bill would be a good thing because it lessens the number of wells and well pads needed to produce natural gas for whatever market there is for natural gas.  It is just that in prior years we have never seen a good bill, just one that favors industry over surface owners and those of our members who also own some minerals.  This year's bill, SB 694, is not quite a "good" bill, but because of all the good surface protections it contains, and because it is OK to most mineral owners, and because the industry dominates the Legislature and could do so even more after the next election, WVSORO thinks this bill is OK and told the Legislature so.  More
Issues: Pooling

New Resources and Advice

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
WVSORO Sample Answer to a Partition Suit
Partition Suit Advice Kayla Young Aug 19 2020
Our co-founder lawyer has drafted a sample that can be used to fight a partition suit filed in Circuit Court that attempts to take a mineral owner's interest in their land from them. More
Issues: Partition suits
I own a share of a mineral tract and I have been included in (or threatened with) a partition suit. What should I do? A West Virginia Supreme Court case stops mineral partition suits. Use it!
Partition Suit Advice WVSORO Apr 2 2020
If you are sued for partition of your interest in a mineral tract, or if you are just threatened with such a lawsuit to try to get you to sign a lease or to sign a lease with terms that you do not want, do not be alarmed.  You should know that the West Virginia Supreme Court has made a decision which we believe says that minerals are not subject to partition. More
Issues: Partition suits
The Provisions Needed by Surface Owners In Surface Use Agreements
Advice Kayla Young Aug 26 2019
This page on our website has been updated to include the effect of a recent West Virginia Supreme Court case that in essence says that surface owners’ agreement is needed for the placement of well sites for horizontal wells on their land. In particular the updated page links to advice to surface owners who might agree to use of their land for the right price and with the right protections. More
Have you been sued, or threatened to be sued, for partition of your minerals?
AdviceLeasing / Amendment Advice Kayla Young Dec 17 2019
Drillers have to get all of the co-owners (usually heirs of family property, and technically "cotenants") to sign a lease or a pooling amendment to a lease, before they can drill.  What if the driller cannot get all the co-owners to sign but the driller still wants to drill? More
Issues: LeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesOil and Gas
What are oil and gas wells’ “API” numbers? How to find them and use them to get info on wells.
Advice WVSORO Oct 2 2018
To find information about a particular oil or gas well (or to talk to agencies or others about it) it is best if you have the well’s API number. The API number (short for American Petroleum Institute number). It is like a well’s social security number. More
Issues: Oil and Gas

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