* After rejecting requests to lease their oil and gas rights for fracking on their land, a southern Illinois couple has discovered that their property could be fracked without their consent…
A rural Williamson County couple was surprised to learn that the rights they own for oil and gas on their property may not protect them from the possibility of fracking on their land.
Joy and David Ramsey recently discovered that despite owning the gas and oil rights on their 44 acres of land east of Marion, they could be forced into a lease that would allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing on their property. […]
According to the Illinois Oil and Gas Act, unwanted leases can result under certain circumstances.
Drilling occurs in units, which vary in size but are usually between 10 and 40 acres. Drilling permit applicants need to secure the rights for all the property within the unit.
Because units can be spread across separately owned interests, if all leaseholders agree, they may integrate their interests and develop their lands as a drilling unit. However, if leaseholders can’t agree to integration within the unit, a hearing could be set in the matter.
The hearing would determine whether the unit is integrated.
* An attempt to regulate fracking came up short last spring.
As always with legislation, the question here is one of balance. There’s a real, tangible overall good to extracting lots of natural gas in order to lower the nation’s dependency on other fuel sources. If Illinois turns out to have a large amount of frackable natural gas, the state could receive tons of tax revenues. On the other hand, there are some real concerns about the impact on local landowners from fracking. A southern Illinois group has compiled a small list of problems so far. Click here to see it.