I know that you can adversely possess minerals in WV. My question is this. Suppose you have 100 acres and find that 30 years ago, someone drilled a vertical well which is still producing. Suppose the facts are enough to claim adverse possession by whomever leased "wrongfully" to the driller. My question is how much of that 100 acres is adversely possessed and even what layers. A lawyer I spoke with said that a 3 inch wellbore of a small gas well can not adversely possess more than a limited area. He has handled cases like this, but they were settled in his client's favor rather than tried. Anyone know anything about this. Can the small gas well in some layer adversely possess the Marcellus and Utica etc. on the entire acreage. Think of it in the light of someone building a fence on your property and "claiming" the additional land as his via adverse possession. Yes, he can get the additional acreage if the facts warrant, but he can't claim to own your entire lot. I was wondering if anyone had any direct experience or knowledge of this issue.

More info. We owned the land from 100 years ago and have paid the taxes. For various reasons, the present day owners thought our interest was a lapsed lease, rather than the deed it actually was. They then leased to the drillers. Our fault for not doing something about it years ago (we did not know) and we can probably get adversely possessed to a degree, but not sure how much they can claim. Assume the facts for adverse possession against us all exist and are valid.....10 years etc.


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