The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) is seeking qualified candidates to serve as arbitrators to administer a new program to resolve disputes over ownership of coalbed methane gas.
During its most recent session, the General Assembly passed House Bill 1344 creating a voluntary arbitration program to determine ownership of coalbed methane. That legislation establishes the qualifications individuals must possess in order to serve as an arbitrator.
In order to qualify, an individual must be an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth with at least 10 years of experience in real estate law. Substantial expertise in mineral title examination is also required. Additionally, candidates will be required to certify that they have not derived more than 10 percent of their income during any of the preceding three years from any party to the arbitration, or their family members or other affiliated entities. Candidates shall also disclose to the Board whether they have been engaged within the preceding three years by any person in matters under the Virginia Gas and Oil Act subject to the jurisdiction of the Board or the Department.
Circuit courts will use this list of qualified candidates maintained by the DMME when appointing arbitrators to hear and resolve disputes regarding coalbed methane ownership.
More information concerning the process of selecting qualified arbitrators, including a form that potential candidates can complete online, is posted on the Department’s website at www.dmme.virginia.gov. Questions may also be directed to Michael Skiffington, DMME Program Support Manager, at 804-692-3212.