WVONGA’s 2018 legislative agenda is about maximizing production of one of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves located right under our feet. In order to do so we must enact mineral efficiency laws to allow our oil and gas companies to develop tracts of land where a majority of the mineral owners, or cotenants, agree. Right now West Virginia is the only major oil and gas producing state that allows a single minority interest owner to prevent all other interest owners from drilling on the property, placing us at a competitive disadvantage with our surrounding states and denying the remaining mineral owners of their right to develop their oil and gas resources. A cotenancy statute would provide for such development to proceed if a certain percentage of such owners are in favor. Attempts have been made for several years to pass similar legislation but the timing is now for West Virginia to step up. The recently announced $83.7 billion investment in downstream opportunities provides even more incentive to removing the existing hurdle for production of oil and natural gas in West Virginia. A detailed description and FAQs on cotenancy can be found here: (link to cotenancy document)
The ability to obtain information for potential pipeline routes is essential to the permitting process required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for interstate pipelines. Legislation allowing survey access for interstate pipelines allows such information to be obtained in a non-invasive and transparent manner. Allowing both the pipeline companies and the property owners opportunities to discuss proper pipeline placement early in the permitting process is advantageous to both parties.