Posts by WVSORO

WVSORO

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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
West Virginia’s 2018 mineral cotenancy statute is takes effect
Press Release WVSORO June 24, 2018
The Co-tenancy Modernization and Majority Protection Act which passed the 2018 West Virginia Legislature took effect June 3, 2018.  It made big changes in oil and gas leasing and surface owners’ rights. Most importantly, if the driller is using the 2018 co-tenancy statute to drill a well, then the well pad and roads, etc. needed to drill that well cannot be placed on a surface owner’s land without the surface owner's consent! Additionally, the Act will definitely affect negotiations of leases from all mineral owners. WV-SORO has added two new pages to our website to help surface and mineral owners better understand the new law and what to do if they are affected. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesPooling
Co-Tenancy Law Now in Effect; WVU Research Project Seeks to Interview Landowners
Updates and Alerts WVSORO June 8, 2018
Earlier this week, the “Co-Tenancy Moderation and Majority Protection Act” enacted during the 2018 legislative session, went into effect. WV-SORO has added two new pages to our website to help surface and mineral owners better understand the new law and what to do if they are affected. We've also provided a brief update on some court cases we've benn involved in or monitoring that affect West Virginia surface owners and some mineral owners. Finally, we wanted to let you know about a WVU research project seeking to interview landowners to better understand their experiences with natural gas extraction near their homes and in their communities. More
Issues: FrackingHorizontal wellsLand useMinerals-RoyaltiesNuisance suitsPooling
The 2018 Cotenancy Law (HB 4268) Does Good Things for Surface Owners
AdviceWV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO June 6, 2018
The 2018 cotenancy statute has significant benefits for surface owner. Most importantly, if the driller is using the 2018 cotenancy statute to drill a well, then the well pad and roads, etc. needed to drill that well cannot be placed on a surface owner’s land without the surface owner's consent! If you are a surface owner read this post to learn more about how the new cotenancy law affects you. More
Issues: Fence-line monitoringHorizontal wellsLand re-unionLand useOrphaned wellsPipelines
What the 2018 Cotenancy Law (HB 4268) Means for WV Mineral Owners/Leasing
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO June 6, 2018
This web page explains the expected change in leasing dynamics that will occur after the 2018 cotenancy statute takes effect and the provisions  of the statute. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesPooling
Memo on Legislative Intent to Require Surface Owner Consent
Document WVSORO May 10, 2018
Memo showing that Legislature intended to require surface owner consent if the 2018 co-tenancy statute is used to drill into/develop not only the mineral tract directly under the surface tract, but to drill longer horizontal well bores into/to develop any other neighboring mineral tract.  More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLand useLegislation
2018 Co-tenancy Statute Showing Changes from Current Law
Document WVSORO May 9, 2018
The "enrolled" version of HB 4268 is the final version of the bill with the text that will be placed in code books but it does not show the changes to the law made by the 2018 co-tenancy statute. This version underscores new code language, strikes through deleted language, and includes a table of contents. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLegislationOrphaned wellsPooling
WV SORO Presentation to the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission on Co-Tenancy Rule-making
Blog WVSORO May 9, 2018
The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission asked stakeholders to make presentations on what emergency or legislative rule-making was needed related to the 2018 co-tenancy bill passed by the WV Legislature. WV SORO made a presentation not only on what emergency and legislative rule-making was required to carry out the surface owner and small mineral interest owner protections in the bill, but emphasizing that the Commission had broader duties and powers to “carry out, administer, and enforce . . . and make . . . investigation” regarding the new statute. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsPooling
Press Release: Advice for mineral owners about selling their rights
Document WVSORO April 5, 2018
WV-SORO advice to mineral owners approached about selling their rights Mineral owners should retain their rights, rather than letting others reap profits More
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
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