• Almost heaven before drilling

Click on any category (Leasing Advice, Blog, etc) to see all posts in that category. Click on any issue tag (Coal bed methane, Horizontal wells, etc) to see all posts so tagged.

Current Issues and Events

“Co-Tenancy” Advances to the Senate Floor Unchanged
Updates and Alerts WVSORO Mar 1 2018
Since we wrote to you last week, the “co-tenancy” bill (HB 4268), has passed two committees unchanged and is now on the Senate floor. In other news, the Senate unanimously passed SB 360, which would change the way royalties are calculated for flat-rate leases. Unfortunately, most of the bills that were a priority for WV-SORO this legislative session are dead because they were not taken up by their assigned committees and sent to the floor in time to meet yesterday’s deadline (often referred to as Crossover Day) for bills to be out of the house of origin. More
Issues: Eminent domainFence-line monitoringHorizontal wellsLand re-unionMinerals-RoyaltiesNoisePooling
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Passes House of Delegates
Updates and Alerts WVSORO Feb 19 2018
On Thursday, the House of Delegates passes a the “co-tenancy” bill (HB 4268), with 60 votes for, and 40 votes against. As the bill came to the floor from the House Judiciary Committee it contained important protections for surface owners, requiring their consent for any surface disturbance whenever the co-tenancy law is used to develop the mineral tract beneath a surface owners’ land or into any neighboring mineral tract, regardless of whether the surface owner owns an interest in the mineral tract being developed. This is significant. The bill also contained protections for the non-consenting, and missing and unknown mineral owners that were not included in the introduced bill. On the floor, two other amendments were adopted that provide additional protections for these mineral owners. HB 4268 is now in the Senate where it has been assigned to the Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. More
Issues: Eminent domainFrackingHorizontal wellsLand re-unionOrphaned wellsPipelinesPollutionPoolingReclamation fund
WV-SORO 2018 Legislative Priorities
Blog WVSORO Jan 5 2018
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 orphaned wells and other environmental problems, continue to be WV-SORO's legislative priorities for 2018.  We will also be active opposing legislation the industry introduces (out of its sense of entitlement) which will harm the interests of surface owners (including some fortunate few of whom are also small mineral interest owners). More
Issues: Abandoned wellsEminent domainFence-line monitoringHorizontal wellsLand re-unionOrphaned wellsPipelines
In Court: WV-SORO Litigation Update
Blog Julie Archer Feb 7 2017
Here is a brief update on some court cases we've been involved in or monitoring that affect West Virginia surface owners. Because one-third of WV-SORO members also own an interest in their underlying minerals, so we are including updates on cases that affect some mineral owners. More
Issues: Coal bed methaneEminent domainLeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesPartition suitsPipelines
Court Approves Drilling Waste Settlement with EPA
Press Release Julie Archer Dec 29 2016
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia formally approved a consent decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a coalition of community and environmental organizations. which requires the agency to review and, if necessary, revise its rules for the disposal and handling of dangerous and harmful oil and gas wastes, such as those that result from drilling and fracking. More
Issues: Drillilng wasteEPAFrackingPollution

New Resources and Advice

Partition Decision by Circuit Court Judge Favors Mineral Owner
Partition Suit Advice WVSORO Jan 23 2017
A new decision in E[Q]T Bluegrass vs. Blaney, Johnson and others has been issued by a Ritchie (and Doddridge and Pleasants) County Circuit Court Judge Sweeney. It favors a mineral owner over a driller. More
Issues: Partition suitsPooling
Drillers can NOT pool a mineral owner’s lease without authorization!
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO Nov 8 2016
If a Driller or Landman Tells You They Can Pool Your Mineral Land Without a Pooling Provision in a Lease or an Amendment, Don't Believe Them! More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingPooling
Eleven reasons why a judge was wrong to imply a lease covenant to pool
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO Nov 8 2016
Here Are the Eleven Reasons That The Tyler County Circuit Court Judge's Ruling Is Wrong, And Why No Other Circuit Court Judge nor the Supreme Court Should Agree With the Ruling. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingPooling
Enacting local city or county ordinances
Enacting Local City or County Ordinances - Advice WVSORO Aug 14 2016
Enactment of city or county ordinances or land use regulations is very tricky legally in order to make them stick. And each situation is different. More
Issues: Land use
What Land/Surface Owners Should Know When a Landman Shows Up And Wants an Easement/Right of Way To Put a Pipeline Across Your Land
Pipeline Advice WVSORO May 31 2016
By 2013 we found out that Marcellus Shale pipelines are worth way MORE than that. If you are only being offered $1 per inch per foot, you are getting underpaid. More
Issues: Pipelines

Special Reports and Commentary

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