The ministry reviews the application for completeness and determines whether the operator reasonably attempted to negotiate a voluntary pooling agreement with the impacted parties. If, in the opinion of the ministry, adequate attempts haven't been made, the application is deferred or denied pending such voluntary negotiations.
Efforts to resolve the matter on a voluntary basis (including use of a third-party mediator) after filing the application with the ministry should continue to be made.
If the ministry proceeds, the non-participating party has three weeks from the date of the notification to respond to the forced pooling application:
- If there's no response from the non-participating party, the ministry may initiate the process for force pooling the drainage unit.
- If the response from the non-participating party is valid, the ministry determines whether or not to force pool the drainage unit based on the operator's application and the statement letter filed by the non-participating party.
- The ministry may insist both parties continue to work on resolving their differences and voluntarily pool the drainage unit.
If the forced pooling application is rejected, a copy of the rejection letter is sent to the applicant and non-participating party. If a decision is made to force pool the drainage unit, the ministry issues a Minister's Order (MRO) with the pooling agreement.
A forced pooling application is confidential, even after an approval is issued, due to the sensitive nature of the information related to this application type.