Horizontal wells are a trespass even if one has the right to drill for minerals on that land

In a complex and narrow holding, the West Virginia Supreme Court held that an oil and gas company had no right to drill horizontal wells from one parcel to another even if it owned mineral rights on the second parcel. EQT Prod. Co. v. Crowder, 828 S.E.2d 800 (W.Va. 2019). While a mineral owner has the right to use the surface of a tract in any way that is reasonable and necessary to withdraw minerals from beneath that tract, it has no right to use the surface to withdraw minerals from other land by means that involve physical intrusion without obtaining the consent of the surface owner of the first parcel since such actions exceed the scope of the rights that had been granted to the company.

See also: Trespass