Companies Strong Arm Mineral Owners in West Virginia

by Elizabeth Alford on June 25, 2015

Antero Resources filed suit in a West Virginia court against mineral owner, Lorena Krafft, when lease negotiations didn’t go to their liking. The company asked the court to end her ownership in the tract of minerals she owns in Harrison County.

Related: West Virginia’s Marcellus Shale

Because West Virginia does not have a pooling law in the state, companies are turning to the courts to force mineral owners to either sign leases or sell their property. And this practice is becoming all too common. Over the past two years, Antero has filed nearly two dozen lawsuits in Doddridge and Harrison counties.

These issues are coming up frequently because horizontal fracking requires companies to lease hundreds of acres from thousands of owners in order to drill from a single well pad. So one holdout or tough negotiation can cost the company money.

What should be normal negotiating for lease terms can be circumnavigated by companies want to cut the process short in an effort to have a more beneficial and profitable result.

Attorney Lisa Ford told the WV Gazette that “While sitting on inventories of hundreds of thousands of acres, companies allege that individuals who ask for a square deal are refusing to cooperate in development. Companies are taking mineral interests without affording West Virginia mineral owners their constitutionally guaranteed due process of law.”

Own minerals in West Virginia? Join the discussion at the West Virginia Mineral Rights Group

 

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