Issue: Horizontal wells

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Press Release WVSORO June 24, 2018
West Virginia’s 2018 mineral cotenancy statute is takes effect
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
Updates and Alerts WVSORO June 8, 2018
Co-Tenancy Law Now in Effect; WVU Research Project Seeks to Interview Landowners
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
AdviceWV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO June 6, 2018
The 2018 Cotenancy Law (HB 4268) Does Good Things for Surface Owners
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
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO June 6, 2018
What the 2018 Cotenancy Law (HB 4268) Means for WV Mineral Owners/Leasing
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
Document WVSORO May 10, 2018
Memo on Legislative Intent to Require Surface Owner Consent
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
Document WVSORO May 9, 2018
2018 Co-tenancy Statute Showing Changes from Current Law
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
Blog WVSORO May 9, 2018
WV SORO Presentation to the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission on Co-Tenancy Rule-making
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
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 26, 2018
Send Us Your Questions on Co-Tenancy; Community Organizing Summit
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
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 1, 2018
“Co-Tenancy” Advances to the Senate Floor Unchanged
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
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 19, 2018
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Passes House of Delegates
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
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 10, 2018
Improved “Co-Tenancy” Bill Clears House Judiciary Committee
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
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 6, 2018
Public Hearing on “Co-Tenancy” Friday, Feb. 9 at 8:30AM
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
Updates and Alerts WVSORO January 27, 2018
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Being Considered by House Energy Committee
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
Blog WVSORO January 5, 2018
WV-SORO 2018 Legislative Priorities
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
Blog WVSORO December 11, 2016
WVSORO 2017 Legislative Proposals
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
Document WVSORO December 9, 2016
The West Virginia Legislature needs to implement the results of the 2011 Horizontal Well Act studies and require “fence-line monitoring”!
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
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO November 8, 2016
Drillers can NOT pool a mineral owner’s lease without authorization!
If a Driller or Landman Tells You They Can Pool Your Mineral Land Without a Pooling Provision in a Lease or an Amendment, Don't Believe Them! More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingPooling
Leasing / Amendment Advice WVSORO November 8, 2016
Eleven reasons why a judge was wrong to imply a lease covenant to pool
Here Are the Eleven Reasons That The Tyler County Circuit Court Judge's Ruling Is Wrong, And Why No Other Circuit Court Judge nor the Supreme Court Should Agree With the Ruling. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingPooling
BlogNews WVSORO July 8, 2016
Dave McMahon: West Virgina must get it right with gas
I write in response to “Conservation makes for good business,” an op-ed column by a top official of Antero, a natural gas company, published May 28. More
Issues: DEPHorizontal wellsMarcellus shaleOil and Gas
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