EQT’s (Mis)Use of 2013 Royalty Law Creates Forced Pooling

A Pittsburgh-based attorney who, it appears (from his byline) sues shale drillers for a living, nevertheless offers up an excellent article in the Harrisburg Patriot-News that helps us understand the ill-advised royalty bill signed into law one year ago this month (see PA Gov Corbett Signs Back-Door Forced Pooling Bill into Law). The bill was meant to help landowners receive better, more transparent information in their royalty statements, but at the last minute a provision was added that allows leased properties to be pooled for horizontal drilling. Immediately after the royalty bill passed, EQT used the eleventh hour provision, called Secton 2.1 of the law, to sue 70 landowners (see Bad News: EQT Sues 70 Landowners Using New PA Forced Pooling Law). As with all things legal, this is complicated, but thanks to the lawyer’s article, we now have a better understanding of it…

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