Ashton Marra Published

Royalty Group to Hold Meetings about Forced Pooling Bill

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA

The West Virginia Royalty Owner’s Association will begin a round of public meetings across the state next week to talk about a piece of controversial legislation.

The meetings held across West Virginia will focus on forced pooling or lease unitization. It’s a practice in the natural gas industry where gas companies parcel of groups of land in an attempt to drill a well.

Under current state law, if a royalty owner refuses to sell their rights to the company, it can’t drill the gas well, but lawmakers attempted to change that during the last legislative session. 

Republican leaders attempted to pass a bill that said if 80 percent of the royalty owners agreed to the well, than the other 20 percent would be forced to sell.

The WVROA will be taking questions about the legislation that is expected to be introduced again in 2016. They’ll hold seven meetings before the end of August. All meetings begin at 6 p.m.:

August 10- Charleston Moose Lodge, Charleston

August 13- Upshur County Moose Lodge, Buckhannon

August 17- Marshall County American Legion, Cameron

August 20- Wood County Moose Lodge, Parkersburg

August 24- Fairmont Middletown Mall, Fairmont

August 27- Glenville Inn, Glenville

August 31- Hancock VFW, New Cumberland