Forced Pooling Back on the Radar for West Virginia

by Elizabeth Alford on November 18, 2015

West Virginia lawmakers will try to resurrect forced pooling legislation next session.

Related: Join the Discussion on W.V. Forced Pooling

Earlier this year, West Virginia House Delegate Lynwood Ireland sponsored HB 2688 in order to introduce forced pooling in the state. When the bill failed to win approval from his colleagues the lawmaker decided  he couldn’t let the issue die so he intends to try again when the legislature reconvenes in January.

Pooling allows companies to force reluctant owners to sell their minerals if they have a certain percent of the owners who agree to the drilling. While some say this is basically theft, others argue that these bills can actually

“With the passage of this bill, it would create a lot of land owner protections that currently aren’t available,” explained Seth Gaskins, counsel to the committees on Energy. “This bill attempts to create some transparency in the royalty payment process as well as institute or establish rather, reporting more frequent report of production…reporting of production data to the office of oil and gas.”

Before an operator can apply to the state for pooling they will have to lease or acquire at least 80% of the net acreage in a proposed drilling site. They also must prove that they negotiated in good faith with landowners.

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