Article Title


Document Type



This Article addresses developments in Virginia oil and gas law for the period from July 31, 2014 to July 31, 2019. This period is longer than normally addressed by this journal to capture important developments in the law between this update and the last Virginia update published in 2015. At the state level, in Swords Creek Land Partnership v. Belcher, the Supreme Court of Virginia concluded coalbed methane (“CBM”) is a separate and distinct mineral estate from coal. It held that the meaning of “coal” within an 1887 severance deed was unambiguous and did not intend to convey ownership rights to the CBM.1 This decision reaffirmed and expanded the Court’s previous holding in Harrison-Wyatt. In Dye v. CNX Gas Co., the Court held that a deed conveying “all coal and minerals” was also unambiguous and with the addition of the “and minerals” language constituted a transfer of CBM.



First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.