Natural Gas Royalty Lawsuit
“Our claims against these energy companies are active and ongoing, and they are intended to protect all Pennsylvanians against this kind of corporate misconduct, not just one group of individuals in one case.”
– Attorney General Josh Shapiro
Frequently Asked Questions:
OAG will continue to fight for justice on behalf of landowners. Since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be weighing in on this case, this process may add about another 8 to 12 months’ delay to our claims. Given our success in the Bradford County Court of Common Pleas and the Commonwealth Court, we are hopeful the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will also rule in our favor and permit our claims to go forward.
OAG is seeking:
- Require the defendants to live up to the lease terms they promised to landowners
- Restore any monies unlawfully deducted from landowner royalty payments
OAG is seeking relief for all landowners who did not get what they bargained for in their leases – including those with MEC leases.
While the Court will ultimately determine the appropriate relief for landowners, we will strongly advocate that landowners get what they bargained for in their leases.
A hypothetical example of this would be:
- A landowner who was told their lease would have no deductions but still had deductions taken could be reimbursed as follows:
– 10,000 Mcf natural gas produced
– deductions taken of $3.00 per Mcf
– 10,000 Mcf X $3.00 per Mcf = $30,000 in unlawful deductions to be returned to landowner.
The Court will determine the appropriate relief for landowners.
We are advocating that landowners get what they bargained for in their leases and that they are paid accordingly going forward under their leases.
Our current litigation is against Chesapeake and Anadarko. I can’t comment about any other cases where my Office has not taken public action.
However, a good decision in our litigation against Chesapeake and Anadarko will be beneficial to any future efforts involving other natural gas companies.
The Bradford County Court of Common Pleas held several settlement conferences in our litigation.
While I can’t speak specifically about our settlement efforts in this case, my Office does generally try and resolve cases if the settlements are what is in the public’s best interest.
The defendants have a settlement, which has gone up for approval in federal court, and it is up to them whether to finalize that proposed settlement or walk away from it.
The defendants are free to go forward with the private class action settlements at any time and our action does not prevent them from doing so.
The class actions filed by the landowners are purely private disputes involving certain types of leases and limited issues seeking relief only for members of the class.
Our claims are law enforcement claims brought on behalf of the public and are based on unfair and deceptive trade practices. These are claims that only my Office can bring to obtain relief for all landowners.
Contact the Office of Attorney General by calling 717-787-4530 or by using our online complaint form.
We will listen to your concerns and we are committed to addressing them.