Energy & Natural Resources Alert: Pooling In West Virginia Does Not Require Consent of Non-Participating Royalty Interest Holders

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently held that the consent and ratification of non-participating royalty interest (“NPRI”) holders are not required for an operator to pool or unitize an oil and gas lease.  The holding in Gastar Exploration, Inc. v. Contraguerro, 800 S.E.2d 891, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, No. 16-0429, May 31, 2017, reversed a trial court ruling. Facts Gastar Exploration, Inc. (“Gastar”) acquired an oil and gas lease from PPG Industries, Inc. (the “PPG Lease”) covering 3,000+ acres of land in Marshall County.  The PPG Lease contained industry-standard provisions related to pooling, specifically … Read More