Have been following this closely and it appears the proposed Forced Pooling Legislation in the State of West Virginia is getting pushed along by the Oil and Gas Industry. There is already a law in place that covers formations below the Marcellus, but it appears now, the Oil and Gas Industry would like to take more from Land and Mineral Owners. The Legislation proposed by Industry Lawyers would put in place a 5 person committee, made up of an Industry Shills no doubt, to decided what "Fair and Just" bonus payments and royalty amounts will be paid to Land / Mineral Owners. This committee will base it's ruling on evidence that the O&G companies present, including what other minerals in the proximity of the mineral in question, were leased for. So if a mineral was leased for $10 per acre 20 years ago at the base rate of 12.5%, this could be used as evidence and what you could be paid under the proposed law. Keep in mind that this is being proposed because O&G Operators have such a hard time of tracking down the thousands of mineral owners required to be profitable and have abandoned massive amounts of mineral because they couldn't locate a mineral owner who's 10 acres blocked them from fully producing the 640 acre production unit and because many Land / Mineral Owners refuse to negotiate. I say that with the most sarcastic tone possible because that's what the O&G PR machine was churning out on Inside Shale (WAJR) this morning... a radio show that is paid for by the WV Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA).
If you own mineral in the State of West Virginia and don't feel that your mineral should be stolen from you because you decide to decline the "Fair and Just" offer made to you by the Oil and Gas Industry, better start calling and writing letters to your state and local politicians to have your voice heard. Right now they are proposing a requirement of 67% be leased before they can Force Pool your minerals. A mineral owner group has proposed their own legislation with a 90% requirement but it will no doubt be negotiated down.
You can read more about the proposed legislation or google forced pooling in wv.
Anybody out there for Forced Pooling? I'm not convinced as I've sat in negotiations where landmen have threatened my family to sign for cheap or they will drill our mineral and hold it in an account until we sign their cheap offer. I think this will be another tool they use to force folks into signing bad leases that benefit their own pockets.