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Proposed Bill Would Provide Public Utility Commission With Power To Order Unitization In Some Circumstances

On January 23, 2015, Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw introduced Senate Bill 313 (SB 313), which would provide a process for persons actively engaged in the business of extracting oil or gas, who own or leased at least 65% of the working interests in a proposed unit, to apply to the Public Utility Commission for an order integrating the remaining interests owned by other persons similarly engaged in the business of extracting of oil or gas. SB 313 allows for the integration of working interests for the purpose of extracting oil or gas from formations below the base of the Elk Sandstone or its geologic equivalent. The proposed bill would also repeal the act of July 25, 1961, known as the Oil and Gas Conservation Law (P.L. 825, No. 359).  SB 313 is currently awaiting approval from the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.