Posts by WVSORO

WVSORO

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Advice for mineral owners approached about selling their rights
Press Release WVSORO April 5, 2018
Mineral owners contact us on a regular basis with questions because they have been approached by a company or individual that is offering to buy their mineral rights. Often the first question someone asks us is, ‘How much should I sell for?’  We think that is the wrong first question. The first question you should ask is, ‘Should I sell at all?’  And the answer is almost always, ‘No!’ Although there are some exceptions/situations where you may want to sell, generally it is a bad idea. It's better to retain your rights, than let others reap the long-term profits. More
Issues: LeasingMinerals-Royalties
Send Us Your Questions on Co-Tenancy; Community Organizing Summit
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 26, 2018
Now that the legislative session is over, we are starting to put together more information to help surface and mineral owners understand the new co-tenancy law, which goes into effect June 3, and you can help us by sending us your questions. We will use your responses to help us develop answers to a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about co-tenancy. Once the FAQ is ready we'll make it available on our website. In the meantime, our co-founder and attorney, Dave McMahon will lead a session on Co-Tenancy, Forced Pooling, Right To Trespass, and Protecting Your Land on Saturday, April 7 at the Community Organizing Summit at Jackson's Mill. The summit runs April 6-8 and is open to members of grassroots groups and individuals, especially those who want to develop skills and tools to protect their communities from oil and gas extraction and related infrastructure development. More details here. More
Issues: FrackingHorizontal wellsMarcellus shaleMinerals-RoyaltiesPipelinesPollutionPooling
“Co-Tenancy” Advances to the Senate Floor Unchanged
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 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 February 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
Improved “Co-Tenancy” Bill Clears House Judiciary Committee
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 10, 2018
After yesterday's public hearing on the "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268), the House Judiciary Committee took up and passed an improved version of the bill that, most importantly, addresses the problems we raised regarding surface use and the need to require surface owner's consent. If version of HB 4268 that came out of the House Judiciary Committee passes, if the driller uses the statute to get the right to drill into the mineral tract beneath a surface owners' land or into any neighboring mineral tract, the driller will have to get the agreement of the surface owner to locate the well pad on their surface. Requiring the surface owners consent is very important, and a significant improvement that makes it worth supporting the bill. Why? Read more here. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLand re-unionLeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesOrphaned wellsPooling
Public Hearing on “Co-Tenancy” Friday, Feb. 9 at 8:30AM
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 6, 2018
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on the "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268) Friday, February 9 at 8:30AM in the House Chamber. Read this post for more details and talking points about the bill. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsMinerals-RoyaltiesPooling
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Advances Without Changes, Public Hearing Possible Wednesday
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 4, 2018
Last week the House Energy Committee passed the "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268) without any changes. HB 4268 is problematic in a number of ways which we've outlined in detail here, and we remain opposed to the bill unless these issues are addressed. The bill is now before the House Judiciary Committee. A public hearing has been requested and will possibly be held this Wednesday, February 7 although there has been no official announcement yet. In the meantime, please contact House Judiciary Committee members and voice your concerns about HB 4268.  More
Issues: Eminent domainFence-line monitoringPipelinesPollutionPooling
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Being Considered by House Energy Committee
Updates and Alerts WVSORO January 27, 2018
A "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268) is now being considered by the House Energy Committee. HB 4268 is problematic in a number of ways which we've outlined here. Please contact members of the House Energy Committee and voice your concerns about HB 4268. Urge them to prioritize other legislation before them that will help those most affect by drilling and natural gas infrastructure. More
Issues: Eminent domainFence-line monitoringHorizontal wellsPipelinesPooling
WV-SORO 2018 Legislative Priorities
Blog WVSORO January 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
Surface Owners’ News – Winter 2017
Document WVSORO February 10, 2017
As we have in years past, our WV Surface Owners’ Rights Organization (WV SORO) will again be pushing for legislation to have the property rights of surface owners recognized and respected, to increase their chances of owning some of the minerals under them, and to deal with orphaned wells and other environmental problems. More
Issues: Abandoned wellsDrillilng wasteLand re-unionLegislationNuisance suitsPollution
Partition Decision by Circuit Court Judge Favors Mineral Owner
Partition Suit Advice WVSORO January 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
I have been included in (or threatened with) a partition suit. What should I do?
Partition Suit Advice WVSORO January 23, 2017
Partition suits are becoming more common because horizontal well drillers are using them. If a forced pooling bill had passed the Legislature, they would be doing that instead. More
Issues: Partition suits
Eminent Domain Update
Pipeline Advice WVSORO December 16, 2016
In November 2016, The West Virginia Supreme Court has upheld the Monroe County Circuit Court judge saying Mountain Valley transmission pipeline conveying gas only out of State is not for a "public purpose" to West Virginians and so cannot use eminent domain (and cannot force access for surveying) More
Issues: Eminent domainPipelines
West Virginia Supreme Court cites WVSORO “amicus brief” regarding ownership of coalbed methane
Blog WVSORO December 16, 2016
The West Virginia Supreme Court ruled in the Moss case in 2003 that leases and deeds that granted or reserved rights to “oil and gas” or “natural gas” did not automatically give or reserve rights to coalbed methane More
Issues: Coal bed methane
Poulos15-0907Concurring Opinion by Justice Ketchum
Document WVSORO December 16, 2016
Justice Ketchum filed a “Concurring Opinion” but said he would prefer to overrule Moss to make title opinions more certain. More
Issues: Coal bed methane
Poulos 15-0907 Court Opinion
Document WVSORO December 16, 2016
The West Virginia Supreme Court ruled in the Moss case in 2003 that leases and deeds that granted or reserved rights to “oil and gas” or “natural gas” did automatically not give or reserve rights to coalbed methane“ More
Issues: Coal bed methane
WVSORO 2017 Legislative Proposals
Blog WVSORO December 11, 2016
WVSORO will again be pushing for 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, etc. More
Issues: Fence-line monitoringHorizontal wellsLand re-unionLegislationOrphaned wellsTax sales
The West Virginia Legislature needs to implement the results of the 2011 Horizontal Well Act studies and require “fence-line monitoring”!
Document WVSORO December 9, 2016
When the Legislature passed the Horizontal Well Act in a special session in December 2011, about the only protection in the bill for surface owners was a requirement that the center of a well pad had to be 625 feet from a home. More
Issues: Fence-line monitoringHorizontal wellsLegislation
The West Virginia Land Reunion Song
Blog WVSORO December 9, 2016
In the early 1980's a surge of conventional well drilling occurred in West Virginia in reaction to first the Arab Oil Embargo and then the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The surge in drilling resulted in gross abuses of surface owners. More
Issues: Land re-unionLegislationNuisance suits
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