Policy: Environment & Energy

Neighbors bicker in Pa. over forced gas drilling

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Photo - In this March 20, 2014 photo, a sign near a gas well drilling site is visible near a road in Pulaski, Pa. The gas drilling company Hilcorp that is working the well has asked state officials to invoke a 1961 law in the rural area and allow Utica Shale well bores under the property of four landowners who have not signed leases. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
In this March 20, 2014 photo, a sign near a gas well drilling site is visible near a road in Pulaski, Pa. The gas drilling company Hilcorp that is working the well has asked state officials to invoke a 1961 law in the rural area and allow Utica Shale well bores under the property of four landowners who have not signed leases. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
News,Business,Energy and Environment,Pennsylvania,Fracking,Natural Gas

NEW BEDFORD, Pa. (AP) — An old law has started a new battle over shale oil and gas in Pennsylvania. At issue is whether a company can force people who don't want drilling under their land to accept it.

Houston-based Hilcorp seeks to use a 1961 state law to drill under the property of four holdout landowners an hour north of Pittsburgh, near the Ohio border. The concept known as "forced pooling" means that the people who don't sign leases get bundled in with those who do, to make drilling more efficient.

The company says that invoking the old law insures that everyone is compensated for the minerals they own.

Two hearings that had been planned for this week were postponed to allow more time for residents to get information.

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