Pooling Removed From W.Va. Marcellus Measure

Charleston Gazette
21 February 2011
By The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia lawmakers are dropping the concept of forced pooling from proposed rules for the Marcellus shale natural gas field.

A House Judiciary subcommittee voted late Monday to remove the pooling language. It then advanced the pending legislation to the full committee.

The remaining provisions propose an array of rules for drilling operations. Topics include the method for extracting gas, which involves a high-volume mix of water and chemicals.

Pooling involves cases where a proposed well would tap an area with multiple owners of the mineral rights. An unwilling minority owner could be forced to sign off, but in exchange for compensation.

Pooling supporters say current practices can leave owners uncompensated and excluded from drilling agreements.