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West Virginia Gives up on Forced Pooling

by Elizabeth Alford on November 2, 2017

The West Virginia Senate has decided to side with property owners and will not pursue further efforts to allow forced pooling.

Related: Colorado Addressing Mineral Owners’ Issues

State Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, spoke to the press last week saying the legislature has decided that forced pooling has no place in the state. While the lawmaker acknowledged that the state needs to modernize its oil and gas statutes, he said forced pooling damages property owners’ rights.

“Forced pooling has no chance. (…) What we really need to do is modernize our oil and gas statutes and make this the best place to drill for these resources.”  - Senate President Mitch Carmichael

Forced pooling requires property owners to allow drilling underneath their property if adjoining property owners have signed agreements with oil or gas companies. Recent attempts to pass this legislation has failed.

The WV legislature is weighing other bills that address access to mineral rights including:

  • Allowing access beneath properties with multiple owners or heirs
  • Allowing drilling under property if a majority of surface right owners agree
  • Allowing for the integration of multiple leases if the leases are all held by the same company

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