09/17/2012 09:55 am ET

State Resource Law Allows Companies To Claim Natural Gas

A controversial piece of New York state law, compulsory inte­gration, has deepened the contro­versy over natural gas drilling in Madison County and across the state. Under compulsory integra­tion, a landowner who has not leased their land can still have gas extracted from under their prop­erty if they are included in the gas well’s spacing unit and at least 60 percent of the gas field is located under neighboring land that has been leased to the gas company.
While the gas company pays a royalty to any properties within the well’s spacing unit, the compa­ny is allowed to extract resources even if the property owner does not voluntarily agree. Compulsory integration, which was signed into law in 2005 as Title 7 of the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law, is especially significant in Madison County, an area with abundant natural gas resources.

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