WV Surface Owners’ Guide Updates

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About the industry/Governor’s”Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act” affecting most Marcellus Shale drilling
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO October 27, 2014
Read this first. The "Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act" (HB 401) passed in a special session of the Legislature on December 14, 2011, just 3 days after its introduction. It was totally the Governor's bill, with little reference to our proposed Surface Owners' Bill of Rights or to the bill proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under the Manchin administration. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsMarcellus shale
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
Guide Summary: I just got a notice of a driller’s application for a permit to drill a well on my land. What should I do?
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO November 23, 2007
This happens when you own the surface, but someone else owns the minerals, and the mineral owners has signed a lease with a gas driller. (Or it could also mean that even though you own the minerals with your surface, you or someone who owned the minerals before you, signed a lease with a driller. More
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
If you own the coal you might be able to block or at least move a well site
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO March 15, 2016
This strategy will probably be used mostly by people who own the surface and the minerals, but whose land is subject to an old (or new) oil and gas lease signed by the current surface owners or their predecessors, and that lease allows the drilling of gas wells on the property. More
Issues: LeasingOil and Gas
Top 10 Tips for Surface Owners Before/When the Oil and Gas Driller Shows Up
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO August 15, 2011
1. Get ready now! The driller will send you a copy of his drilling permit application with the well site and access roads already selected and surveyed less than 15 days before the permit can issue. More
Issues: LeasingOil and Gas
Drill water wells as a strategy to protect your rights as a surface owner
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO May 5, 2010
Drillers are, under the common law, only supposed to do what is "reasonably necessary" to the surface to get their minerals out -- giving "due regard to" and "accommodating" the surface owner's uses. It is supposed to be a balance. Drillers have many advantages they can use to tilt the balance their way. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsOil and GasWater
If the driller’s proposed well pad is in a FEMA 100-year “flood hazard” zone, you may be able to block it or make them move it
Floodplains AdviceWV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO June 3, 2013
In order for people in your county to be able to get flood insurance, or receive benefits from FEMA in the event of a flood (or maybe other) disaster, the county (or municipality if you happen to be in a town or city) has to have a “floodplain ordinance”. More
Issues: FloodplainsOil and Gas
Look for springs when commenting on well site locations!
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO July 7, 2011
If the well site is constructed over a spring, the water coming out of the spring will destabilize the site. More
Issues: DEPOil and GasWater
When commenting on a permit for a new nearby gas well, especially a horizontal well, maybe you should comment on existing gas wells in the area
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update don_alejandro August 1, 2011
If there are existing gas wells close to where they are proposing to drill the new gas well, especially if the new well is a horizontal gas well, then there is one way in which the frac fluid could work its way out of the target formation being fraced for the new well and into your ground water. More
Issues: DEPHorizontal wells
Information for Oil and Gas Well Access Roads
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO June 2, 2010
Drillers can drill wells using access roads that are wide enough for two tractor trailers to pass each other going in opposite directions, or they can drill wells using single lane roads with occasional wide spot pull-offs or landings for trucks to pass by each other. More
Issues: Roads
They are drilling or going to drill a well on my land. I want to have it re-seeded with vegetation I want, not the fescue etc. that is in the State’s soil erosion and sediment control manual. What can I do?
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO April 28, 2016
If you want re-vegetation with seeds other than that at page 32 of the State's Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Field Manual, then work on your driller before,during or after the comment period to use seed mixtures you get from your local soil conservation district More
Issues: Land useLegislationOil and Gas
They are spraying water out of a drilling pit on to the land (or they propose to do so in a drilling permit I received). Can they do that?
Water AdviceWV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO July 22, 2009
A driller is not allowed to just knock a wall out of the pit and let the water and other stuff in it run into a stream, either during or after drilling. More
Issues: Drilling wasteOil and GasPollution
I am considering signing a lease or doing other business with a driller or landman for a company. Can I find out if that “operator” has a history of “violations” of state laws or rules?
Leasing / Amendment AdviceWV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO August 10, 2009
You can find out information about “violations” on the West Virginia DEP, Office of Oil and Gas web site. But be aware that much enforcement is done informally without the state writing up official “violations” that will show up on this data base. More
Issues: DEPOil and Gas
There is a large, Olympic swimming pool sized, pond being built on/next to my land to drill a gas well. Is there any danger from that?
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO August 23, 2009
While we have not heard of any of these ponds breaching, there have been a large number of slips in the impoundment walls where the impoundments have been built up on hills or mountains out of the valley. More
Issues: Drilling wasteFrackingLand use
How Can I Get Ownership, Or a Chance at Ownership, Of the Minerals Under My Land?
Aquiring Mineral Rights Under Your LandBuying Land AdviceWV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO September 20, 2011
If you own the surface but not the minerals it is a very, very good idea to try to get ownership of the minerals. Even if the ownership of the minerals is divided up (often times in what people call “heirship”) and you can only get ownership of a fraction of the minerals, it is a very good idea to do that. More
Issues: LeasingOil and Gas
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