WV “Landowner” Wins $4.8M in Lawsuit for Failure to Drill

By Andy Leahy

court gavelOn March 3, a federal judge awarded a Tyler County, WV mineral owner $4.8 million in present and future royalties (plus interest) as damages in a dispute involving the operator’s failure to follow through on some unusually generous lease terms. The operator, Cunningham Energy LLC of Charleston, WV, had promised to horizontally drill eight wells to and through the Marcellus Shale formation within three years, but was unable to do so–largely because the leaseholds were far too small to develop as stand-alone units, and the surrounding lands turned out to be already under lease to other drillers…

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