(a) The oil and gas developer shall be obligated to pay the surface owner compensation for:
(1) Lost income or expenses incurred as a result of being unable to dedicate land actually occupied by the driller's operation or to which access is prevented by such drilling operation to the uses to which it was dedicated prior to commencement of the activity for which a permit was obtained measured from the date the operator enters upon the land until the date reclamation is completed, (2) the market value of crops destroyed, damaged or prevented from reaching market, (3) any damage to a water supply in use prior to the commencement of the permitted activity, (4) the cost of repair of personal property up to the value of replacement by personal property of like age, wear and quality, and (5) the diminution in value, if any, of the surface lands and other property after completion of the surface disturbance done pursuant to the activity for which the permit was issued determined according to the actual use made thereof by the surface owner immediately prior to the commencement of the permitted activity.
The amount of damages may be determined by any formula mutually agreeable between the surface owner and the oil and gas developer.
(b) Any reservation or assignment of the compensation provided in this section apart from the surface estate except to a tenant of the surface estate is prohibited.
(c) In the case of surface lands owned by more than one person as tenants in common, joint tenants or other co-ownership, any claim for compensation under this article shall be for the benefit of all such co-owners. The resolution of a claim for compensation provided in this article shall operate as a bar to the assertion of additional claims under this section arising out of the same drilling operations.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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