WV Co-Tenancy Bill Picks Up Support from Landowner Group

It’s looking more and more like co-tenancy legislation will pass this year in West Virginia (see Co-Tenancy Front and Center for WV Legislature as Session Nears). What is co-tenancy? It is legislation that will give a majority of rights owners of a property the authority to sign a lease on behalf of all the rights owners. It corrects a situation in which multiple rights owners are listed for a property–sometimes 200 or more rights owners for a single piece of property! It is often difficult, if not impossible, to track them all down and get them to sign on the dotted line. Co-tenancy corrects that situation, opening up more Marcellus and Utica acreage that can be drilled. The main oil and gas associations in WV are pushing hard for it. Very importantly, the West Virginia Royalty Owners Association is giving its guarded blessing to the effort. About the only group still outright opposing it is the West Virginia Surface Owners Organization. They risk not having a seat at the table to influence the final version of the bill by their ongoing opposition. The co-tenancy train has already left the station and is picking up steam. The time is now to weigh in if you want to have a say in the bill that (we predict) WILL get passed–as long as legislators keep it “clean” and don’t lard it up with other stuff, like “joint development”…

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