Keller Postman is seeking recovery on behalf of Pennsylvania landowners who have been deprived of royalty payments for natural gas extracted on their properties. EQT Corporation is one of the nation’s largest natural gas production companies and is legally required to pay landowners for the gas it extracts from their land.
Pennsylvania law protects real property owners whose land is exploited by natural gas production companies. In order to lawfully produce natural gas, production companies must obtain all necessary property rights both to the surface and subsurface of the land they want to exploit. Prior to drilling on any property in Pennsylvania, a production company is obligated to enter into agreements with at least one owner for the right to drill and extract natural gas; regardless of how many owners agree to the drilling, the company must still pay all of them at least 12.5% of the value of gas extracted, divided by their proportion of ownership rights in the property.
Our complaint alleges that one such production company, EQT Corporation, and its affiliates, failed to pay landowners other than the ones it directly contracted with, leaving a class of Pennsylvania landowners in the dark about what was going on at their properties, and depriving them of potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties. Many of these landowners may have moved away from the property, or may not even be aware the property was being drilled on. Even though EQT has been aware of these problems, it was systematically failing to make an effort to locate, account to, and pay the owners it has not contracted with, in contravention of Pennsylvania law. By doing this, we allege that EQT has deprived these absent landowners of the full value of their property and wrongly enriched itself at their expense.
Through this case, we hope to recover the value these landowners are entitled to for the natural gas that has been extracted from their properties, both in the past and ensuring that EQT will not continue this conduct in the future.
Meet the attorneys leading Richard A. Ross and Fieldstone Ventures, LLC v. EQT Corporation et al.
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