By February 22, 2018 Read More →

Senate Energy Committee passes co-tenancy bill

By ANDREA LANNOM

The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — A bill that allows the development of oil and natural gas resources across adjoining properties if at least three-fourths of the property owners agree, cleared the Senate Committee on Energy Industry and Mining Wednesday.

House Bill 4628 the development in cases where there are more than seven owners and more than 75 percent of the owners consent to development.

The bill also sets payment terms to non-consenting or unlocatable owners of either production of royalty free of post production interest, which would be the highest paid to consenting owners of that same tract; non-consenting owners could choose a second option of being a partner in the production to participate in development and receive a share of the development.

Non-consenting or unlocatable owners would have 45 days to choose one of those options. If they don’t, the first option will be automatically chosen.

For those who are unlocatable, funds would be administered to the Unknown and Unlocatable Interest Fund. After 2023, the state treasurer would evaluate the size of the account and transfer 50 percent to the Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund used by the Department of Environmental Protection to plug orphaned wells. The other half would go to the Public Employees Insurance Agency Stability Fund.

The bill now heads to the Judiciary Committee.

Email: alannom@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @AndreaLannom

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