West Virginia Bill Seeks Transparency for Mineral Owners

by Elizabeth Alford on February 21, 2016

Legislators in West Virginia have approved a new bill seeking to help mineral owners in their state know what they are owed.

Related: West Virginia to Reconsider Forced Pooling

The Oil and Gas Royalty Payment and Transparency Act (HB 4500) was introduced last week in the West Virginia House of Representatives to amend an old 1931 code in order to ensure transparency in determining the amount paid to a royalty interest owner.

It is not always crystal clear for mineral owners to determine what they are owed and this bill requires producers to list very specific information on the royalty stubs including month and year of production, the full amount produced and sold, and price received for the oil or gas deductions. The legislation also includes the following:

  • Required certain information to be attached to the payment instrument provided to the interest owner by the producer
  • Defining terms; providing for an escalation in certain circumstances
  • Established a general rule for the accumulation of proceeds from production and the payment of funds therefrom
  • Requires the timely payment of royalties
  • Establishing a penalty for failure to timely pay an interest owner
  • Requires oil and gas producers to report to the Department of Environmental Protection on a quarterly basis all production data associated with a given well
  • Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to collect all quarterly production data and organize such data on the Department of Environmental Protection website
  • Resolving conflicts between division orders and leases
  • Providing for rule-making.

Read more at www.legis.state.wv.us 


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