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Ohio Utica Shale

Source of new Pennsylvania pooling provision remains unclear

By Bob Downing Published: July 5, 2013

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

The Pennsylvania House member who sponsored amendments that would make it easier for energy companies in Pennsylvania to combine land leased for gas drilling said that he did not know who wrote the provision or where the idea came from.

The General Assembly passed a bill last weekend that would empower drilling companies to combine leased land into larger drilling units as long as the contracts don't prohibit it. The bill would likely have its biggest effect in Western Pennsylvania, where many people hold old oil and gas leases that don't mention pooling. For that small set of landowners, it could undercut the power to renegotiate when drillers need to assemble large tracts for modern, horizontal shale drilling, experts and critics have said.

Legislators said discussions about the problem started months ago, but Rep. Garth Everett, R-Lycoming County, said he could not remember who pointed out the problem or suggested this solution. Everett introduced it in his bill in May, and then again June 25 to amend a sister bill sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Williamsport. Yaw's bill passed both houses. Their staff members collaborated to write it, Everett said.

Click  here  to read the fulls tory by reporter Timothy Puko.

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