Court Decides No Pooling for Ohio Town

by Elizabeth Alford on May 20, 2016

Ohio court strikes down mandatory pooling for one Ohio town.

Related: Idaho Pooling Now Law

On Tuesday, the 10th District Ohio Court of Appeals ruled that the Ohio Oil and Gas commission moved too quickly in 2013 when it ordered forced pooling for landowners of North Royalton, Ohio. The case swirled around whether officials took city’s safety concerns into account.

North Royalton officials had cited three specific instances to highlight their concerns about whether Cutter Oil should be allowed to drill their first horizontal well in the city:

  • 2008: a 700-foot long, one-half inch thick metal rod was ejected under pressure from a Cutter well near an elementary school and oil was sprayed from the well.
  • 2011: a production line at another well leaked oil into the city’s storm sewer leading to Chippewa Creek.
  • 2012: a natural gas release at another well forced some residents to be evacuated.

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Ultimately the court ordered that the commission didn’t carefully weigh the safety concerns and removed the pooling order.

“It is not surprising that the city has taken a more cautious approach to the drilling …, ” Judge Gary Tyack wrote in the court opinion. “The urbanized environment, the inexperience of Cutter Oil in drilling a horizontal well and prior safety incidents … are of special concern to the city that is … charged with the responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizenry.” 

Read more here. 

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