Landowners vs Drillers: PA Minimum Royalty Bill Gets a Hearing

There is a renewed push in Harrisburg to pass a minimum royalty bill to protect landowners from getting the shaft by drillers deducting expenses from royalty checks. We’ve tracked this issue for the past few years–an issue that came to the forefront when Chesapeake Energy started to screw landowners in Bradford County (and other locations) out of royalty money (see Bradford County, PA Landowners Sue Chesapeake over Royalties). Bills were introduced in the PA legislature and went nowhere. Last year another new bill was introduced by State Rep. Garth Everett: House Bill (HB) 1391 (see New Bill HB 1391 Will Guarantee PA Landowners 12.5% Royalties). Organizations like the PA chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) fully supports the bill. However, drillers make the counterargument that duly signed contracts which allow for certain deductions should not be swept away with the stroke of a pen. As we’ve previously commented, the issue is one of those rare times when landowners and the industry are on different pages altogether (see Rare Schism Between Landowners & Drillers over PA Royalty Law). HB 1391 is once again being pushed–under discussion yesterday in the PA House…

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