Two recent West Virginia cases-one expressly, and the other inferentially-again bring to prominence the much-debated question of who has the "ownership" of the space remaining after the removal of subsurface minerals where there has been a severance in title of them from the other strata. It may be remarked, at the outset, that the results reached by the courts are the same whether the title of the mineral owner be granted to him or whether it be excepted by him from a grant of the land. The discussion which will follow is not in the spirit of adverse criticism of the very able opinions in these cases, nor of the cogent dissent in the Fisher case. Rather, it is offered with the hope that further analysis will throw additional light upon the problems involved and suggest some limitations and qualifications of the space doctrine which may not be readily apparent from a casual reading of the opinions.
Robert T. Donley,
Use of the Containing Space After the Removal of Subsurface Minerals,
W. Va. L. Rev.
Available at: https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/wvlr/vol55/iss3/3