WI Owner Force Pooled in an Uneconomic Well (OK )

I’m not sure if this is the right section, please direct me if I need to post this in a different section.

We are a working interest owner in a well in Oklahoma in which the WI owners were force pooled. The well produced for a number of years but now it seems that the production is tapering off and it is uneconomic.

Since the WI were force pooled, there is no JOA or other agreements as to the operation of the well. I did not find anything on the OCC website as far as remedies and talking to the OCC, it seems this is something that does not come up often. Does anyone here have any experience with this situation?

Also, there do not seem to be any permits to drill in the area of this well.

Thanks, Frank

You will probably get better answers if you post the County and the section, township and range, so the history can be looked up.

What are your questions? It’s more common than you think. Will also be very common in the future as virtually none of these hz wells are being drilled under JOA’s.

In a JOA you can assign your well rights to the Operator but without a JOA there does not seem to be any administrative way out of the economic well. When I spoke with the OCC, the public assistance agent I spoke with said that litigation may me the only way out. That seems to be against the OCC’s mission to prevent “economic waste” in production. The net payout according to the Cash Flow report provided to me was about $900 for the last 18 months.

So the real question: “Is there any remedy to a non-operating WI owner when a well becomes uneconomic to avoid additional liability for costs associated with operating the well?”

In the OCC’s eyes economic waste would be the plugging of a well that is still productive and generating tax revenue. Not a lawyer but JOA or not in these situation I would take my chances on not paying them any longer and letting them net me. I would also write them a demand letter to plug the well or let me assign them a wellbore interest. That’s my typical course of action. It’s always possible they could sue you, but for such a small amount of money and the practicality of them operating a well that economically damages their partners and not themselves (since they are receiving OH from the non-op partners), I’m guessing that would be a very difficult case to win and not worth the expense. Again, postulating on my end as opposed to legal advice as I acknowledge you are absolutely correct that absent a JOA the remedies are ambiguous at best.

Thanks for the reply and insight. The plan is definitely to have them net us, I like the idea of a demand letter, I’ll think on that one a bit more.