Do PA Drillers have Law on Their Side in Royalty Debate?
A sharp MDN reader, John S., emailed MDN to remind us of how PA landowners ended up in the quagmire they are now in with regard to royalties with drillers (like Chesapeake) deducting post-production expenses from what they pay to landowners. We had forgotten about the Kilmer v ElexCo Land Services case from March 2010 in which the PA Supreme Court ruled that drillers could indeed deduct certain post-production expenses without violating the law that says landowners must be paid a 12.5% minimum royalty (see Breaking News: PA Supreme Court Rules Against Landowner Seeking to Invalidate Lease).
PA Gov. Tom Corbett wrote a letter to Doug “the ax” Lawler at Chesapeake telling him the company’s royalty calculations were unfair at best, and perhaps illegal. Doug just has to point to the 2010 PA Supreme Court case. Here’s more information about the 2010 case and what the decision means, and doesn’t mean: