Home

  • Almost heaven before drilling

Current Issues and Events

Surface Owners’ News – Fall 2021
Newsletter WVSORO Dec 1 2021
This issue includes several articles on the problems with unplugged, orphaned oil and gas wells, and what is (and isn't) being done to address these problems. We also take a look back at the 2021 legislative session, and a look ahead to 2022.  More
Issues: Aboveground tanksDEPLegislationOrphaned wells
Scientists say lots of unplugged (and plugged) oil and gas wells are leaking lots of methane in West Virginia
Blog WVSORO Oct 20 2021
A study by scientists of 338 conventional vertical wells in thirteen counties in West Virginia found that 53% of active wells, 28% of unplugged inactive wells, and even 20% of plugged wells were leaking significant methane into the atmosphere -- wasting gas, aiding global warning, and gypping mineral owners. Clearly the State needs LOTS more inspectors than the current 1 for every 7000 wells. More
Issues: Abandoned wellsPollution
The Legislature is cutting the budget for oil and gas well inspectors, not fixing it!
Updates and Alerts WVSORO Apr 5 2021
The staffing level of the DEP Office of Oil and Gas was cut from 40 to 25 positions last year due to a budget deficit. There is now only 1 oil and gas inspector for every 7000 oil or gas wells and their associated tanks in West Virginia. More
Issues: Aboveground tanksDEPOil and Gas
WVSORO  and WVRC file comments against Diversified pilot project to take shortcuts plugging wells.
Updates and Alerts WVSORO Mar 18 2021
Diversified Gas & Oil wants to plug wells without first pulling out the metal casing that is not cemented into the well borehole.  WVSORO is concerned that this cannot be reliably done, and that the metal casing, when it eventually rusts away, will leave a pathway for gas to travel up to groundwater or the surface.  More
2021 legislative priorities
Blog WVSORO Jan 26 2021
Restoring and increasing funding to the DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas will be our lead priority this year.  But we will still be pushing legislation to have the property rights of surface owners recognized, to increase their chances of owning some of the minerals under them, and to deal with thousands and thousands of orphaned wells and other environmental problems. More
Issues: Abandoned wellsLand re-unionLegislationPipelines

New Resources and Advice

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
Map of some pipelines
Pipeline Advice WVSORO Sep 25 2018
The U.S. Department of Transportation which regulates pipeline safety has a web site with a map of where many interstate and some other pipelines are located. It does not include gathering lines owned by well drillers, or residential/commercial service distribution lines. More
Issues: Pipelines

Special Reports and Commentary

Send this to a friend