PA Judge Rules on When Drilling “Begins” & Extends a Lease

An important question for PA landowners whose leases are set to expire soon: When, exactly, does the law consider a driller has begun drilling? Sometimes drillers will do the bare miniumum to prepare a site without doing any actual drilling and declare they’ve met their lease obligation, and those very basic actions reset the clock, giving the driller more time (sometimes years) to actually drill the well. Such was the case with Range Resources and Good Will Hunting Club in southwestern PA. Last week a district court judge ruled and said the drill bit doesn’t have to touch the ground for drilling to have “commenced”…

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