WV Court Declares “Implied Right” to Pool Oil & Gas Leases

court-gavel.jpgA circuit court judge recently ruled on a case in West Virginia with implications for unitization or pooling. No, NOT forced pooling–or forcing landowners who haven’t signed a lease into a drilling unit, forcing drilling under their land. That’s not what this case was about. This case was about landowners with an already-signed lease for vertical wells now being used to allow that land to be pooled with other land and a horizontal well allowed to be drilled under it. The landowners, who wanted a new lease for horizontal drilling (and more money, which is reasonable in our opinion) said because the lease was silent on the matter of pooling or unitizing, it should not be allowed. The judge disagreed and found in favor of the energy company, in this case American Energy…

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