WV Won’t Push Forced Pooling, Will Push Joint Dev. & Co-Tenancy

Forced pooling legislation in West Virginia has been put forward five times in the past seven years–and each time it has failed to win enough votes in the WV legislature. In its most recent incarnation (last year), forced pooling would allow drillers to form a “unit” for drilling (typically one square mile, or 640 acres) from a group of properties where at least 80% of the mineral rights owners have signed a lease (see WV Forced Pooling Bill HB 4426 Introduced – Debate Rages). 80% is a much higher standard than most other states. But there has been no appetite for forced pooling in WV, at least among rights owners. There have always been other provisions in the forced pooling law that drillers have desired–measures less controversial but important. So this year, the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association says it’s NOT going to push yet another forced pooling bill–but instead will work on two other provisions previously found in the forced pooling bill: (1) joint development, and (2) co-tenancy. What are they? And, are they just forced pooling lite?…

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