"To Pool or Not To Pool" - That Is the Question

West Virginia legislators are nearing a vote on Forced Pooling, simply put, this is where a single property, or mineral rights owner, is forced to have his (her) property included in a "pool" of adjacent property, or mineral rights owners, in order to complete a 640 acre drilling unit. The upside for those eager to lease their mineral rights is that drilling can be hastened with royalties to follow. The down side for those holding out from leasing is that they won't receive the signing bonus and eventually there will be a drilling rig sitting on or near their property. A good short description of the issues can be read at http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/551908/Forced-Pooling-Debated.html?nav=515 .

I, for one, am in favor of "forced pooling". My family's mineral rights have been gathering dust for decades while waiting for a landman representing a coal company to come knocking at the door. And now, with the natural gas boom in the Marcellus Shale region of NY, PA and WV, there's finally an opportunity to begin realizing a benefit in owning those rights. Also, this country needs to move as fast as it can to natural gas for it's primary energy source so that we can finally turn around, drop our trousers and "moon" those in the Middle East that our government has allowed to hold us hostage for so long.