Arab Today, arab today gas drillers face ‘chaos’ in land law ruling
Last Updated : GMT 19:53:22
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Gas drillers face ‘Chaos’ in land law ruling

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Gas drillers face ‘Chaos’ in land law ruling

Washington - Arabstoday

A Pennsylvania appeals court ruling has raised questions about who can claim ownership of natural gas embedded in the Marcellus shale formation, potentially putting in doubt the legitimacy of thousands of drilling leases.The state’s Superior Court said Pennsylvania law governing ownership of oil and gas rights isn’t clear and a lower-court judge should solicit expert opinions in a case pitting current landowners against the heirs to an 1881 deed.“Dozens of energy companies have invested billions of dollars in leasing shale gas production rights in Pennsylvania,” Larry Nettles, an attorney with the Houston- based law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP, said in a telephone interview. “This opinion calls into question whether they have those rights.”For more than a century, Pennsylvania has required landowners to consider oil and gas rights separate from more general “mineral rights” when transferring ownership of resources beneath the surface of their property. The defendants in the title dispute argued shale gas is different and should be considered part of the mineral rights because it is contained inside rock.The Superior Court, the second-highest court in the state, ruled Sept. 7 that current law doesn’t sufficiently address whether “Marcellus shale constitutes a mineral,” the question that’s now to be hashed out by the lower court.Until the case is decided, oil and gas companies will face uncertainty about whether they’ve signed drilling leases with the right people, legal experts say. Owners of oil and gas rights who signed leases with gas producers could find that they don’t own the gas after all.“If, somehow, shale gas is different, that would be a sea change in Pennsylvania law,” David Fine, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based attorney for K&L Gates LLP, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “The issue is whether they’ve entered into a lease with someone and somebody else is going to find a problem with the title.”The case may take as long as two years to wind through the courts, Fine said.“There could be waves of litigation,” said Nettles, the Vinson & Elkins attorney, who predicted the opinion would be overturned or set aside.Oil and gas companies may need to check the title to thousands of oil and gas properties they’ve leased, said David Poole, general counsel of Range Resources Corp. (RRC) Range, based in Fort Worth, Texas, drilled one of the first Marcellus wells in 2004 and has leased 1.2 million acres in Pennsylvania. Poole said the Pennsylvania legislature may have to act if the courts don’t clear up the question.“If the courts keep changing the rules in a property law area, it creates chaos,” Poole said in an interview.The gas industry, which has leased millions of acres in the state to drill wells, is monitoring progress of the case through Pennsylvania’s courts, Kathryn Z. Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a 200-company group that includes producers Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Statoil ASA (STL), and Chevron Corp. (CVX), said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.An 1881 deed for 244 acres in Susquehanna County is at the heart of the lawsuit. The deed transferred “half the minerals and petroleum oils” under the land to Charles Powers, whose heirs say that entitles them to half of the gas. The current landowners, John E. and Mary Josephine Butler, say they own all the gas because the deed transferring minerals to Powers’s heirs failed to mention gas.A lower court sided with the Butlers, relying on previous rulings that established ownership of oil or gas doesn’t change hands unless it’s specified in a deed. Powers’s heirs argued in court that the deed gave them the right to other minerals such as coal -- and that they own the gas trapped in the shale the same way they would own the gas trapped in a coal seam.John Butler, 73, a retired dairy farmer and land surveyor, said in an interview that he is discussing with his attorney whether to appeal the Superior Court decision to the state Supreme Court. Michael John Giangrieco, a Montrose, Pennsylvania-based attorney representing the Butlers, wasn’t available for comment yesterday, according to his office.Laurence M. Kelly, a Montrose, Pennsylvania, attorney for the Powers’s heirs, didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment on the case.The effect of the case “is only uncertainty,” Russell L. Schetroma, a Meadville, Pennsylvania-based attorney for Steptoe & Johnson LLP wrote in a Sept. 16 note on the firm’s web site.One option would be for a trade association or gas producer to petition the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear an expedited appeal of the case, Ken Komoroski, an attorney in Pittsburgh with Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, said in an interview.Gas production in Pennsylvania increased to about 2.8 billion cubic feet a day in July, up from about 0.6 billion cubic feet in January 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. About 218,000 Pennsylvanians worked in Marcellus Shale-related industries at year-end, helping drive the state’s unemployment rate below the national average, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry said in a September report.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today gas drillers face ‘chaos’ in land law ruling Arab Today, arab today gas drillers face ‘chaos’ in land law ruling

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Egyptian tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Egyptian tourist guide explains types of tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models

GMT 18:12 2017 Friday ,24 February

Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models

GMT 05:33 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Oil slips but close to multi-week high

GMT 17:44 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Gasoline 98 octane price surges LL100

GMT 15:37 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Nakilat Posts QR 955 Million Profit in 2016

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Laffan Refinery 2 Cost QR 3 Billion

GMT 15:31 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Oil up 2% as OPEC chief sees higher compliance with cuts

GMT 07:00 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Oil prices rise on high OPEC compliance with output cuts
View News in Arabic - Business: نفط وبتروكيماويات
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday