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Properly drilled, cased, and cemented well before plugging.
Slide WVSORO May 4, 2022
This slide shows a drawing of an oil or gas well after it has been properly drilled and cased/cemented.  Several concentric layers of metal casing pipe have been inserted into the well borehole.  Usually in West Virginia there is a surface casing pipe, and then inside that a casing pipe down through the coal and then inside that a “production” casing pipe all the way down into the target formation.  More
Showing formations originally drilled through.
Slide WVSORO May 4, 2022
Lets start by showing the relevant underground rock layers/formations through which a gas well is drilled in an abbreviated, drawing view.  There is the green good ground water formation that needs protected, the brown bad groundwater formation that needs to be kept to itself, the black coal seam that needs protected from gas, and the blue gas-bearing target rock formation/strata from which the driller wants to produce gas.  More
Slideshow Index
Slide WVSORO May 4, 2022
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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
Comments submitted on Department of the Interior guidance for first $25 Million to plug orphaned wells
Blog WVSORO April 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WVSORO commented on the Department of the Interior's draft guidance for the first $25 Million coming to West Virginia to plug orphaned wells pursuant to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021.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 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
West Virginia landowners need your help!
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 28, 2022
  West Virginia used to have only 1oil and gas inspector for every 4000 oil and gas wells!  And there are  75,000 wells and more than 20,000 associated tanks. During that time a study by Princeton and McGill universities found that a sample of 79 active, conventional, vertical wells in 13 counties was leaking an average of 9 cubic feet of gas – per hour. More
Issues: DEPOil and GasPollution
Tell Legislators: Fully Fund the DEP Office of Oil & Gas
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 13, 2022
The DEP Office of Oil and Gas is in a funding and staffing crisis. Currently, the Office only has 9 inspectors overseeing approximately 75,000 wells and 28,000 tanks across the state. That’s 1 inspector for every 8,000 wells. Bottom line: DEP needs more resources to properly manage its oil and gas program, and the industry should pay its fair share for doing business in the state. Urge your legislators to support solutions to the funding and staffing crisis. More
Issues: DEPLegislationPollution
Lack of Inspections Leads to Leaking Gas Wells
Press Release WVSORO February 7, 2022
A 2018 study by Princeton and McGill Universities has come to light showing that 53% of active, conventional, vertical gas wells were leaking an average of 9 cubic feet of gas -- an hour. Lack of inspections lead to the leaking wells discovered in the study. More
Issues: Abandoned wellsOrphaned wellsPollution
Surface Owners’ News – Fall 2021
Newsletter WVSORO December 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
What a depleted oil or gas well should look like after it is plugged
Resource Gallery WVSORO November 3, 2021
Plugged well cross-section drawing and Monuments the driller is supposed to leave after the well is plugged More
Issues: Abandoned wellsOil and GasPollution
Scientists say lots of unplugged (and plugged) oil and gas wells are leaking lots of methane in West Virginia
Blog WVSORO October 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
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
The Legislature is cutting the budget for oil and gas well inspectors, not fixing it!
Updates and Alerts WVSORO April 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 March 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
Stop newest forced pooling bill. Attend Farm Bureau meeting Monday!
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 4, 2021
WVSORO has said in the past that a good forced pooling bill could be a good thing.  Not anymore.  For one thing we have yet to see a good forced pooling bill offered by the drillers.  And they have not even offered to negotiate with us or mineral owners before the Legislature started.  Instead they introduced two bills late into this year's delayed legislative session that are perhaps the worst ever.  More
Issues: LeasingPooling
FRIDAY MORNING People’s Public Hearing on deregulation of some oil and gas well tanks!
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 24, 2021
Oil and gas "brine" and oil tanks on surface owners need more regulation.  Right now there is only one Office of Oil and Gas inspector for every 5000 wells many of which have associated tanks.  There are no required State Office of Oil and Gas  inspections of the 70,000 wells in the State, and if there is a tank at a well it could have crawdad holes etc. negating secondary containment.  More
Issues: Aboveground tanksPollutionWater
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