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Legislative Lookahead: Natural gas co-tenancy bill has good chance to pass, WV legislators say

Anne Blankenship, executive director of the W.Va. Oil and Natural Gas Association, discusses possible legislation on natural gas production during the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead Friday, Jan. 5, in Charleston. Panelist Angie Rosser, executive director of the W.Va. Rivers Coalition, listens to Blankenship’s comments. West Virginia Press Association Photo

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — A bill with a co-tenancy provision, which would allow natural gas drilling to take place as long as a certain percentage of ownership approves even if other co-owners object, has a good chance of passing the 2018 legislative session after coming up short last year.

That’s according to Delegate  Bill Anderson, R-Wood, and Sen. Glenn Jeffries, D-Putnam, in a panel Friday at the West Virginia Press Association’s 2018 Legislative Lookahead. As expected, natural gas drilling legislation affecting land and mineral owners drove much of the discussion.

“Co-tenancy will be a piece of legislation that will probably pass this year,” said Jeffries, a member of the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee. “All parties involved have come to an agreement that we can get that piece of legislation passed.”

However, Jeffries said, legislation related to co-tenancy should have measures that make sure objecting landowners in the minority will be properly compensated by drilling companies.

Delegate Bill Anderson, R-Wood, and Senator Glenn Jeffries, D-Putnam, discuss possible legislation on natural gas production during the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead Friday, Jan. 5, in Charleston. West Virginia Press Association Photo

Anne Blankenship, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, backed Jeffries by saying co-tenants who do not consent to drilling will be compensated “very well,” with “strong language for how they will be treated” likely to be part of the bill.

Getting a co-tenancy bill passed is the top priority for the industry this session, and it’s a fair way to deal with not every owner consenting to drilling, she added.

Read the entire article at https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/politics/co-tenancy-bill-has-good-chance-to-pass-wv-legislators/article_4111078d-7c94-56ca-bc29-9d00ee77fd96.html

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