Forced pooling, or as it’s called in Ohio, “unitization”–it’s something we understand, but we don’t like it. Chesapeake Energy and Atlas Noble have filed petitions seeking forced pooling for property owned by a number of landowners in Columbiana County, OH. Some of those petitions have been approved by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR). Some are still pending.
The industry and landowners who have leased will argue it’s not fair that one or two hold-outs who won’t lease can scuttle a deal to drill and therefore should be forced to lease if they can’t come to reasonable terms. Landowners who don’t want to lease say it’s their land and drillers can figure out how to drill around them–I don’t say you can’t drill, and you don’t say I have to drill under my land. We favor the later position, to the consternation of our friends in the shale drilling industry. We say, make it worth their while–give them an offer they can’t refuse. Here’s some of the details on the forced pooling being sought by Chessy and Atlas in eastern OH: