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August 13, 2013

Efforts to Repeal PA Pooling Law Ignite

Pennsylvania State Representative Michele Brooks (R-Crawford) announced on Monday plans to introduce legislation that would repeal the recently enacted law (S.B. 259) which included a last minute amendment authorizing operators to pool contiguous leases using horizontal drilling unless prohibited by a lease.   Pooling is the combination of all or portions of multiple oil and gas leases to form a unit for the drilling of a single oil or natural gas well. Rep. Brooks was one of 33 House members to oppose Senate Bill 259.  Her proposed legislation includes two components:  (1) a repeal of the contested language from S.B. 259 to ensure that no landowners are ever involuntary placed into a production unit, and (2) a repeal existing, but vaguer, involuntary pooling measures in the state’s earlier Oil and Gas Conservation Law. According to Brooks,
“[W]hile we need to continue to promote energy production, it is essential that we do so in a manner in which balances the rights of the landowners from which oil and gas are harvested.  More specifically, I believe we need to ensure that each property owner has the ability to fully negotiate the terms under which their oil and gas rights are leased.”

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