Another Look at WV’s Co-tenancy & Joint Development Proposals

When MDN editor Jim Willis attended the Shale Insight conference in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, one of the recurring themes he heard from West Virginia officials is that the state urgently needs to pass “mineral efficiency” laws. What they meant by mineral efficiency is another name for co-tenancy and joint development. We’ve written a fair bit about the topic–what we call “forced pooling lite.” In August the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) announced its intention to push, once again, for co-tenancy and joint development (see WVONGA Makes Plans to Push Forced Pooling Lite in 2018). We spotted an editorial from the co-founder of the West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization on the topic co-tenancy and joint development. He has a unique perspective. He calls co-tenancy “majority rules” and joint development “invisible ink.” What does he mean? And what would these two measures do if adopted? And is there really an urgent need for them? Let’s tackle this issue once again…

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