Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pooling, Lease Integration Discussion Reveals Sharp Contrasts During Legislative Interim Meeting

During a legislative interim meeting this week, industry presenters from the state’s two natural gas trade associations touted the need for follow-up legislation to the state’s 2011 Horizontal Drilling Act.  The trade executives encouraged lawmakers to develop legislation related to pooling and lease integration.  They cited statutes from other states and noted that West Virginia’s industry needs to have lease integration provisions that will help to attract further investment, economic development and employment. The association leaders told lawmakers that the two groups have been meeting regularly to work out the internal industry differences on the issue. 

Several other groups -- surface owners, mineral owners and farmers – also were in attendance at the meeting, and representatives of several of them offered significantly different viewpoints on the matter, including outright opposition to any lease integration bill.  Among their comments were ones to do a significant rewrite to property law, negate existing leases, and beef up surface owners’ rights to block or impede development and production.

Lewis Glasser and its government relations affiliate, LGCR Government Solutions, will continue to monitor this issue and further legislative interim meetings.  To learn more, please call (304) 345-2000.