Issue: Pooling

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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
AdviceLeasing / 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 and the provisions  of the statute, which takes effect June 3, 2018. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesPooling
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 February 4, 2018
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Advances Without Changes, Public Hearing Possible Wednesday
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
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
Updates and Alerts Julie Archer April 8, 2017
Legislative Update and Thank YOU; Fracking Guide and Webinar
Today is the last day of the 2017 legislative session. You've probably heard that the industry's re-branded forced pooling legislation (SB 576) was officially declared dead earlier in the week by the chair of the House Energy Committee. More
Issues: FrackingLand re-unionPooling
Updates and Alerts Julie Archer April 1, 2017
Public Hearing Monday on Forced Pooling Bill
The House Energy Committee will hold a public hearing on the forced pooling bill (SB 576) Monday, April 3 from 9AM to 10AM in the House Chamber. Read this post for more details and talking points about the bill. More
Issues: LeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesPooling
Updates and Alerts Julie Archer March 26, 2017
Forced Pooling, Land Reunion Bills Advancing
WV-SORO continues to oppose the latest version of the forced pooling legislation (SB 576), although we appreciate efforts to improve it. Our concerns are outlined here. We're glad to report our 'land reunion' bill (SB 369) is moving and we're hopeful it will be passed by the Senate later this week. More
Issues: Land re-unionLand useMinerals-RoyaltiesPooling
Updates and Alerts Julie Archer March 19, 2017
Forced Pooling Bill Taken Up by Senate Committee
The forced pooling bill was taken up the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the House of Delegates bills were introduced to require fence-line monitoring of pollution from horizontal drilling sites and improve compensation for landowners in eminent domain proceedings. The House passed an amended version of a bill regulating aboveground storage tanks. More
Issues: Eminent domainFence-line monitoringPipelinesPollutionPooling
Updates and Alerts Julie Archer March 12, 2017
New Forced Pooling Bill Introduced in the Senate
A new forced pooling bill, SB 576, was introduced in the state Senate. The devil is in the details and SB 576 is one of the worst bills yet introduced. We also have news on aboveground storage tank and pipeline legislation, as well as our "Land Reunion" act. More
Issues: Eminent domainLand re-unionLeasingPipelinesPollutionPoolingWater
Updates and Alerts Julie Archer February 14, 2017
Take Action: Zombie Bills to Aid Drillers Are Back
As we anticipated, some bad bills that aid drillers at the expense of West Virginia landowners — bills that were either soundly defeated or stalled a different points in the legislative process in 2016 — are starting to reemerge this session. Tell your Senators to oppose these shameful attempts to take away the property rights of West Virginians. More
Issues: Eminent domainLeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesPipelinesPooling
Blog Julie Archer February 6, 2017
Zombie Bills? Bad Bills to Aid Drillers Could Be Back in 2017
Several bad bills that help oil and gas drillers at the expense of West Virginia landowners could be back during the 2017 legislative session. These include efforts to take away citizens ability to bring nuisance suits, give pipeline companies the right to survey people's land without their permission, and one-sided forced pooling bills (AKA joint development). More
Issues: Eminent domainNuisance suitsPipelinesPooling
Partition Suit Advice WVSORO January 23, 2017
Partition Decision by Circuit Court Judge Favors Mineral Owner
A new decision in E[Q]T Bluegrass vs. Blaney, Johnson and others has been issued by a Ritchie (and Doddridge and Pleasants) County Circuit Court Judge Sweeney. It favors a mineral owner over a driller. More
Issues: Partition suitsPooling
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