More on WV’s Push for “Joint Development” Instead of Forced Pooling

On Friday MDN ran a story of keen interest to both mineral rights owners and drillers in West Virginia–about an effort pushing new legislation this year in lieu of forced pooling, something called “co-tenancy” and “joint development” (see WV Won’t Push Forced Pooling, Will Push Joint Dev. & Co-Tenancy). Co-tenancy is pretty easy to understand: if there are multiple owners for the mineral rights under a property (something that happens fairly regularly in WV), you would only need a simple majority of those owners to approve a drilling lease. Currently, if one person with a teeny tiny share objects, it stops the process. But joint development was something of a mystery for us. We thought it meant if adjoining properties were signed with different drillers, they could more easily be combined for horizontal drilling. Although that may be the case, we were wrong about the the main intent of the new bill. A sharp MDN subscriber (someone from the industry) emailed to explain what’s really going on with this new bill. We also heard from a rights owner who would be affected. And from the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA). We now have a better handle on joint development…

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