WV Code

Previous - Slide 3 - Next

III. “Pooling and Unitization” statutes in West Virginia.

Well spacing and royalty sharing is called “pooling and unitization” in the statutes.  Three general kinds exist. 

First, “Voluntary” pooling and unitization, and the well spacing that goes with it, can occur when the neighboring mineral owners get together on their own and agree to it without government playing any part.  

Second, “Mandatory” pooling and unitization would be the government requiring every well drilled in the State to be spaced, unitized and pooled -- even if the whole pool is owned by one mineral owner.

The third type is somewhere in the middle.  It is “forced” pooling and unitization.  In this statutory scheme, any of the parties affected by the drilling of an oil or gas well can force well spacing, pooling and unitization, even if the other interested parties do not want it. But it does not happen unless one party requests it.   As explained in the illustrated examples later in this slide show: The owner of the mineral tract where the well is drilled could force a neighboring tract to join in the unit so the neighbor cannot drill an “offset” well after the same gas.  A neighbor could make the mineral owner who drilled the well include the neighbor in the unit to pay for the gas getting drained out from under the neighbor’s land.  And surface owners should be affected parties to limit the number of wells drilled on them.

Go directly to intro or slide: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 24a 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33