An energy company is dusting off an old, unused state law that can force property owners to accept oil and gas drilling under their land, pitting neighbor against neighbor in a Pennsylvania community and raising the possibility that lawmakers will have to take sides, the Associated Press reports.
Houston-based Hilcorp seeks to use a 1961 Pennsylvania law to drill under the property of four holdout landowners in New Bedford, near the Ohio border an hour north of Pittsburgh.
The concept, known as "forced pooling," means that people who don't sign leases get bundled in with those who do, to make drilling more efficient and compensate all the landowners.
The stakes are high. Property owners can reap royalties totaling hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars from drilling in the Utica Shale formation, which lies below the better-known Marcellus Shale.
Full story at: New Jersey Herald - Neighbors bicker in Pa. over forced gas drilling
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