Is theis forum just for land owners only? I am one of many heirs to 46 acres of O&G in Upshur County West Virginia. Can you tell me what it going on there as far as the price they are getting for leases? It was my grandmothers and I just found out in October that her estate was never taken to probate in W.V. and she has been gone for 30 years. I have been tying to take it to probate since October and have ran into some obstacles. I'm beginning to think no one there wants us to. We could be totoally wrong, but our family suspect our royalties have been cheated the family over the years since it was never taken to probate. Also, I think there is a possibilty that there may be coal bed methane wells there on that 46 acres. Have they made a dicision on who that belongs to? I have heard that some counties have divided it among the land and mineral rights owner. In my case, the land owner sold it to another person but kept the coal rights. My family owns the minerals, so who would the coal bed methane belong to?

Thank You G.P.

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Replies to This Discussion

G.P. you need to speak to a good lawyer. Legal issues like these can get very complicated very quickly. Let me know if you need a recommendation. I know a couple of WV attorneys who might be good on this kind of thing.
Yes, please do recommend someone. I do have some working on the probate, but not sure if we are using him to also check out the other situation for us. That will be up to the other family members to decide.
Pamela R. Folickman, 421 Fairmont Ave., Fairmont, WV 26555, Ph. (304) 363-4LAW. I believe she used to be the city attorney for Weston before she moved to Fairmont. The other one is Wray V. Voegelin with Cassidy, Myers, Cogan & Voegelin, 1413 Eoff St., Wheeling, WV 26003-3582, Ph. (304) 232-8200. Both of these attorneys are not afraid to represent land owners. Good luck!
If you grandmother has been gone for 30 years, her minerals were most likely sold on the courthouse steps to the highest bidder.... and that bidder has been paying taxes on the them for the last 30 years. In WV, there is a 3 year statute of limitations if your family did not receive notification on the sale. After that, there is pretty much no recourse to try to reclaim the property.
Thank God! My nephew has been paying the taxes on the mineral rights since his mother(the power of attorney) passed away 10 years ago, and he is the one who told me they were still coming in my grandmothers name, so that is the reason I am now trying to get her estate to probate. That alone has not been a easy task. I say she is my grandmother, but I was adopted by her so she is really my mother. I know some names of men who have lawyers waiting to grab up mineral rights and land in W.V. when somone has failed to pay taxes. They have made themselves rich by doing that. I'm thankful that didn't happen in our case.

Thank you for your reply, G.P.
the state of wv has not made a judicail decision on the true ownership of CBM, if a cbm well or leg is drilled on your property and you have a fee mineral estate ( oil & gas and COAL you will be paid royalties. If you only own the oil & gas minerals, and not the coal, then your royalties will be put in a escrow account set up by the company. If you do not execute a lease with the company you will then be put into a forced pooling unit. This unit will be approved by the wv methane review board. CNX GAS ( consol energy) is the biggiest cbm producer in wv,pa,va.
Okay, thank you for the information. One other thing if you don't mind answering. Do you know how many acres it takes to put a Marcellus well on? I was told 600, is that correct?
Thank you! It was a land man from Chesapeake that told me 600 acre. He said if we signed a lease with them it may be five years before we hear from them again. Were not interested in that. The first contact I had from them was a offer of 200 an acre, another land man just contacted another family member and offered 150 an acre. I called him back and told him I was the family contact person and told him what the first man offered, he claimed he did not work there anymore. We will not settle at this time till we know the going rate in that area.
These rate being offered in Upshur Co W.V?
Someone from Mountain V said that Chesapeake was trying to bring us into a utilization. Which I really don't understand fully. I have read some pros and cons about that. M.V. said we would not get as much royalty that way. They only drills vertical wells, but he told me that a vertical well produces as much as a horizontal well. I read a horizontal well produces five times more then a vertical. Does anyone know the scoop on that? Also if you could comment on Chesapeake doing utilization for a horizontal well, verses M.V drilling a vertical. Chesapeake did tell me they may sign a lease with us today and then us not here from them for five years. Would it be worth the wait or would you go with the vertical now?
Our farm was leased to Equtable Gas, now EQT, in the 1950s. We have been contacted by a land man to do a lease amendment that will allow them to pool. The land man said pooling for drilling in marcellus would be the only change to the old lease. After a lot of study, BALONEY. They wante to change the royalty from a gross to a net, wanted us to wave all our rights and warrant everything. Boy can these folks bury details with wordy and confusing language. Anybody else out there dealing with EQT. We would like to talk.
Ron, Pooling is a good thing. If they drill from across the street and under your property they have to pay you for the gas.

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