West Virginia

Joint Development in West Virginia

West Virginia’s outdated oil and gas law hinders the full development of the state’s energy resources, which prevents the Mountain State from being recognized as an energy leader. Allowing the joint development of existing oil and gas leases will benefit families, support job growth, preserve the environment, and generate more tax revenue for communities.

That’s why an overwhelming 66% of West Virginians support joint development.*

The Shale Energy Alliance is vigorously advocating for legislators to modernize West Virginia’s oil and gas law to allow for safer, more efficient energy development.

*Source: FTI Consulting

What is Joint Development?

Joint development enables energy producers to develop existing leases using safe, efficient, modern technologies that allow landowners and neighbors to enjoy the mutual benefits of less land disturbance and increased oil and gas production.

Joint development means more efficient production that leads to:

  • Higher producing wells
  • Opportunities for additional royalties
  • More tax revenue to support community needs

Co-tenancy: the current law in WV is out of step with other states and impedes development

In West Virginia, a co-tenant must have the consent of all other co-tenants in order to use or develop the co-owned property. Failure to have consent from all co-tenants has been deemed “waste” by the West Virginia Supreme Court. Non-consenting co-tenants have the right to seek damages, including treble damages, and to seek an injunction. Oil and gas leases that have been deeded down from generation to generation can have hundreds of co-tenants, with a portion of those con-tenants being un-locatable. This antiquated law prevents the co-tenants that have been given consent from development. A large majority of states have laws that allow a co-tenant to use or develop property as long as there is proper accounting of revenues – and the other co-tenants are paid their pro-rata share of the revenues.