Senate Bill 280 Making Well Work Permits Transferrable Passes Legislature

Senate Bill 280 which makes well work permits issued by the Office of Oil and Gas in West Virginia transferrable has passed both houses of the West Virginia legislature and now only awaits signature by the Governor. Passage of the legislation makes West Virginia consistent with its sister Appalachian Marcellus/Utica states which already allow for well work or drilling permits to be transferred between entities. 

Previously, the sale of oil and gas entities and/or assets of oil and gas entities had the potential to nullify existing well work permits held by the seller – meaning permitting would have to be re-started by the successor owner, thus delaying investment and development by months. Allowing for the transfer of these well work permits allows for these valuable assets to be transferred thus allowing for the sale of oil and gas entities without impacting drilling programs or investment in the state.

The new law would require that the third party requesting the transfer of the well work permit have the authority to obtain a well work permit, meaning that the entity is registered to do business in the state, registered with the Office of Oil and Gas to operate oil and gas wells, and is properly bonded. The law provides that notice of the proposed transfer must be made to certain surface owners, coal owner, water purveyor with a water supply within fifteen hundred feet of the center of the proposed well pad and others who may be entitled to notice as found at W.Va. Code §22-6A-10(b).

Once signed, the law is effective from passage, January 28, 2015.


Armando Benincasa concentrates his practice in the areas of energy law, environmental law, environmental litigation, administrative law, government affairs and lobbying. His practice consists of cases involving permitting and regulatory requirements for natural resources, including coal and oil and gas, solid waste, water resources, underground storage tanks, voluntary remediation, and the drafting of rules and statutes related to the environment.
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