Windsor Ridge West and Windsor River West subdivisions in Larimer County, Colorado, are indicating they might not give in mineral lease negotiations. If the oil & gas companies can’t come to terms with landowners, the drillers might lease as much as possible and then force pool the rest. If a local landowner is unable to negotiate a lease that he’s happy with and his neighbors do, he might just get drilled anyway. It is common practice across the U.S. where most major oil & gas producing states have forced pooling regulations.
Even though it is a possibility, that is not the way the oil companies prefer to do business and you can bet there will be a lot of negotiating between now and when the drill bit hits the dirt.
When residents of Windsor’s Ridge West and River West subdivisions suggested to an oil company official last week they may refuse to allow Ranchers Exploration to lease oil and gas mineral rights attached to their land, the company said it might resort to forced pooling.
“If nobody signs the lease, do you still have the right to drill?” a woman at a meeting Monday in Windsor asked Ranchers Exploration Chief Operating Officer Michael Ward.
“Yes,” Ward said, “but it’s not going to be fun.”
Ward said subdivision residents who don’t want to lease their minerals might have to endure a lengthy process that involves state oil and gas regulators having the final say about whether all residents’ mineral rights will be pooled together regardless of their willingness to sign the lease for their minerals.
That process is called forced pooling, a tool energy companies use to prevent unwilling parties in a specific area from stopping an oil drilling project from going ahead.
Read the full news release at coloradan.com