Issue: Legislation

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Updates and Alerts WVSORO November 1, 2018
We’re Hiring; NARO Town Halls
WV-SORO is hiring a part-time Outreach Coordinator to engage with and provide support to our membership and others dealing with oil and gas development on their land and in their communities. Details here. Also the National Association of Royalty Owners is hosting a series of town hall meeting for WV mineral owners, including a Q&A with experts on legal and policy issues affecting royalty owners in WV. More
Issues: FrackingLegislationMinerals-RoyaltiesOil and Gas
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
Document WVSORO February 10, 2017
Surface Owners’ News – Winter 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 wellsDrilling wasteLand re-unionLegislationNuisance suitsPollution
Newsletter Julie Archer February 8, 2017
Surface Owners’ News – Winter 2017
We know it's been a while since you've heard from us. As the 2017 legislative session gets underway, we wanted to let you know what we've been up to and what we'll be focusing on for the next 60 days. More
Issues: Abandoned wellsDrilling wasteLand re-unionLegislationNuisance suitsPollution
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
Blog WVSORO December 9, 2016
The West Virginia Land Reunion Song
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
Document WVSORO December 8, 2016
Draft bill requiring money from forfeited bonds to fix the problem that lead to the forfeiture
If a drillers' bond is forfeited by the State, the money should be used first to fix the problem on landowner's land that caused the bond to be forfeited. More
Issues: LegislationReclamation fund
Document WVSORO December 7, 2016
Use the Funds from Oil and Gas Operator Bond Forfeitures First to Take Care of the Problem That Caused The Forfeiture
There is an "Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund" that in theory is supposed to be used to plug the thousands and thousands of oil and gas wells that have been orphaned over the last century by oil and gas drillers who go out of business without plugging them. In reality, from 2010 to 2014 there was only enough money in the fund to plug just 6 orphaned wells! More
Issues: LegislationOrphaned wellsReclamation fund
Document WVSORO December 3, 2016
Let’s give surface owners the option to purchase any interest in the minerals under their land that is sold at a tax sale!
Nearly everyone thinks that separation of ownership of the surface from ownership of the minerals was a bad idea. Surface owners get no royalty (or lease signing bonus if the minerals are not leased yet) yet have the burden of the well site being placed on them. They have no incentive to cooperate with the drilling of gas wells even though the burden of the well site and access road falls on them. More
Issues: Land re-unionLegislationTax sales
Document WVSORO December 2, 2016
Use the funds from partition suits to plug orphaned oil and gas wells
The purpose of this bill is to help solve the problem of orphaned, unplugged oil and gas wells. These often leaky wells exist because oil and gas well drillers that have gone out of business, and because the drillers' bonding requirement is not high enough for there to be enough money to plug the wells they left behind. More
Issues: LegislationOrphaned wells
Document WVSORO November 23, 2016
What the opponents are saying – and the surface owners’ response
Below we will respond to the legitimate concerns raised by earlier versions of our bill, and the amendments we made to this year's bill in order to solve the problems and help other interested parties where it is possible. More
Issues: Land re-unionLegislationTax sales
WV Surface Owners' Guide Update WVSORO April 28, 2016
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?
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
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 12, 2016
Anti-Nuisance Suit Bill Dead; Solid Waste Bill Amended
Today is the last day of the 2016 legislative session and it is now safe to say that SB 508, the anti-nuisance suit bill, is officially dead. More
Issues: Drilling wasteLegislationNuisance suits
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 6, 2016
Fate of Anti-Nuisance Suit Bill Uncertain; Drilling Waste Bill Advances
Thanks to everyone who has responded to our calls for action -- your calls and emails to legislators can and do make a difference. As we head into the final week of the legislative session, we're relieved that several bills to benefit the oil and gas industry have died. More
Issues: Drilling wasteLegislationNuisance suits
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 28, 2016
Some Good News
Earlier today, SB 596, the pipeline survey access (or "right to trespass") bill was soundly defeated on the Senate floor, with only 11 Senators voting in favor and 23 opposed. More
Issues: LegislationNuisance suitsPollution
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 21, 2016
Legislature Adds Insult to Injury with Bills to Aid Drillers
It was bad enough that the Legislature and Governor Tomblin included few protections for surface owners in the Horizontal Well Act when the state finally updated antiquated drilling laws in 2011. Instead, the Legislature included an arbitrary setback of 625 feet from the center of the pad in the Act. More
Issues: LegislationNuisance suitsPooling
Document WVSORO February 16, 2016
House Bill 4550
BY DELEGATE IRELAND. [Introduced February 16, 2016; Referred to the Committee on Energy then Finance.] More
Issues: LegislationOrphaned wellsReclamation fund
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