WV Legislation Would Create Forced Pooling – with a Twist

A bill just introduced into the West Virginia legislature would allow for “forced pooling” in very specific cases. Forced pooling laws, in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, require or “force” landowners who have not signed a lease to allow drilling because their neighbors have all signed a lease and drilling under the holdout’s property is required in order to access the other leased properties. However, the WV bill adds a big twist: It will allow forced pooling only in cases where the owner of the mineral rights can’t be determined, or the owner can be determined but can’t be found.

Supporters of the bill, introduced by Sen. Brooks McCabe (D-Kanawha), are careful to point out the new bill (unlike previous failed forced pooling bills) does not force known, unwilling landowners to be placed into a “unit” for drilling…

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