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Comparative Study of Compulsory Pooling—Enforcement Against Owners of Divided Interests in the Spaced Tract

John W. Gee, Proceedings of 3rd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1957)

It is obvious that if we are to engage in a “comparative study” of compulsory pooling, it will first be necessary to narrow the subject down, at least to the limits of our time here together. Inasmuch as there are several sources of legal compulsion which can result in a pooling of interests in lands subject to oil and gas leases, we will eliminate from our discussion such compulsion as may arise from the recognition of private contractual rights.

This leaves us, of course, with compulsory pooling as it may be required by existing oil and gas conservation laws within the several states—with specific attention to be devoted to our own Rocky Mountain states and those immediately adjacent.

I. COMPULSORY POOLING—WHAT IT IS

It would be wise, I think, to attempt a definition of “compulsory pooling,” although appended to this paper (for those of you who may care to read it later) is a sample of the compulsory pooling section of a conservation law as it appears in the code of one of our states. For our purposes I propose to define compulsory pooling as “...The bringing together, as required by law or a valid order or regulation, of separately owned small tracts sufficient for the granting of a well permit under [242] applicable spacing rules, in order to prevent the drilling of unnecessary and uneconomical wells, which will result in physical and economic wa