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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 July 19, 2022
First decide whether you want to go along with it or try to stop it. Plugging an oil or gas well does create some construction-type mess and truck and equipment traffic.  However, for reasons set out in more detail in our video on how a well is “plugged”, not “capped”, we highly recommend in most instances that you support the plugging.  An unplugged well lowers your property’s value. More
Issues: Abandoned 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 June 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
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 March 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 program to open up carbon market to small forest owners in West Virginia
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO October 20, 2021
A new program enabling owners of small forestlands to prosper from improving forest health while slowing climate change is launching in West Virginia. More
Issues: Leasing
Surface Neighbors Can Still Sue for Nuisance Sometimes
Pads and Other Disturbance Advice WVSORO June 14, 2021
Elsewhere in this newsletter is an article explaining that as a result of a West Virginia Supreme Court decision, in almost all cases, surface owners can sue for substantial money if a driller uses their surface for a pad, road etc. for a horizontal  well -- even sometimes if the surface owner already signed an agreement. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsNuisance suitsRoadsWell pads
Full analysis of West Virginia Supreme Court case on nuisance
Pads and Other Disturbance Advice WVSORO June 14, 2021
A Surface Lawyer's Take on Andrews vs. Antero Resources Corporation 241 W.Va. 796, 828 S.E.2d 858 (2019) Prepared November 1, 2019, by David McMahon. J.D. More
Issues: Nuisance suits
WVSORO Sample Answer to a Partition Suit
Partition Suit Advice Kayla Young August 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
Cotenancy/Forced Pooling By OGCC can be challenged
BlogLeasing / Amendment Advice Kayla Young June 25, 2020
WVSORO believes that two of the five members of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission are not qualified to hold their positions. More
Issues: LeasingOil and Gas
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 April 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
Have you been sued, or threatened to be sued, for partition of your minerals?
AdviceLeasing / Amendment Advice Kayla Young December 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
Orphaned Wells: The Widespread Problem and the Potential Solutions
Advice Kayla Young October 10, 2019
WVSORO believes that the most widespread property rights and pollution issue in West Virginia is orphaned oil and gas wells. There are 4,500 already on property owners across the State. We predict another 10,000 in 30 years. The Legislature needs to take action. More
Issues: Orphaned wells
If You Get an EQT Class Action Benefit Notice, Do Not Sign for the “Optional Pooling Benefits!”
AdviceUpdates and Alerts Kayla Young October 7, 2019
9500 people are getting a "Tawney [Non-]Compliant Flat Rate Claim Form and Benefit Notice" regarding the settlement of the royalty class action case of Kay Co., v. EQT Production Co. If you got that, WVSORO recommends that you DO NOT SIGN ON PAGE THREE for the optional pooling benefits provided in section "B" beginning on page 2 for leases in Wetzel, Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ritchie, Taylor and Tyler Counties. More
The Provisions Needed by Surface Owners In Surface Use Agreements
Advice Kayla Young August 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
Why Multiple Horizontal Wells from centralized well pads should be used for the Marcellus Shale
AdviceBlogLeasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO July 8, 2019
The Marcellus Shale is the newest “play” in gas drilling in West Virginia and other states in the East. It is different from other plays in that it produces much more gas, and is under much more area (as explained below) than previous plays. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingMarcellus shale
You now CAN block a horizontal well pad from being placed on your land
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO June 5, 2019
If you own the surface and the minerals, and in particular any of the coal, then owning the coal will work for you to block them from using your land for a well pad that will contains several horizontal wells. More
Issues: FloodplainsHorizontal wells
What are oil and gas wells’ “API” numbers? How to find them and use them to get info on wells.
Advice WVSORO October 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 September 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
Don’t Sell Your Surface Land in Horizontal/Shale Drilling Country!
Aquiring Mineral Rights Under Your LandSelling Land / Surface Owners Advice WVSORO August 2, 2018
Under the new 2018 Cotenancy statute, and even under an older statute that oil and gas well drillers sometimes use, surface owners could end up owning an interest in the oil and gas minerals under their surface tract! More
Issues: Minerals-Royalties
A well pad is going to be put near my house, and the driller is willing to buy me out. How much should I get?
Pads and Other Disturbance Advice WVSORO August 1, 2018
This page assumes you are the owner of the surface tract NEXT DOOR to the surface tract where the well pad is being placed. This page only applies to you if you are NOT the owner of the surface tract where the well pad is located (or significant disturbance actually occurs). More
Issues: Well pads
A driller is putting a well pad near my house/land. What can I do about it?
Pads and Other Disturbance Advice WVSORO August 1, 2018
When the driller files for a permit from the State Department of Environmental Protection, you can comment on certain aspects of it. Watch the paper for notices. Or call the DEP and ask if a permit application has been received yet. More
Issues: NoiseWell pads
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