Thursday, December 2, 2010

Legislative Committee To Prepare Forced Pooling Legislation

The House Judiciary Committee of the West Virginia Legislature is preparing legislation to authorize forced pooling and multiple bore holes on a single drilling pad. Current West Virginia law does not allow forced pooling for shallow formations, including the Marcellus Shale. Current spacing laws also require at least 1500-foot spacing and preclude multiple bore holes on a single drilling pad absent consent from the coal owner.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is proposing its own agency legislation that does not provide for forced pooling or for changes in spacing, which would allow multiple bore holes on a single drilling pad. Both proposals include new water use requirements.

LGCR has prepared a comparison for both proposals and has been in communication with the drafters of both proposals.