Analysis of New WV Bill SB 576 re Co-Tenancy & Joint Development

Yesterday MDN reported on a new West Virginia bill (Senate Bill 576) that aims to bring both the drilling industry and rights owners together to support co-tenancy and joint development–which are stripped down pieces of previous forced pooling bills that failed in the past (see WV Sen. Charles Trump Introduces New Co-Tenancy, Joint Dev Bill). As we previously reported, Senate Bill 244 was introduced in February to address co-tenancy and joint development (see WV Senate Bill 244 Introduced for Co-Tenancy & Joint Development). That bill went nowhere due to strong opposition from rights owners, including the West Virginia Royalty Owner’s Association (WVROA). SB 576 was meant to meet rights owners in the middle, to address their concerns. But as we mentioned yesterday, WVROA is not supporting the new SB 576 either. Although we included a copy of the bill in yesterday’s post, we did not have a detailed analysis of SB 576 vs SB 244. We now have some expert analysis from the legal beagles at top energy law firm Babst Calland…

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