WV Drillers Sue Dominion over Long-Term Pipeline Contract

lawsuitIn 2008 Dominion approached oil and gas producers in West Virginia, before the Marcellus Shale was a household word, looking to build a pipeline for “several hundred million dollars” (ended up costing $750 million). Dominion held several meetings and told West Virginia’s independent natural gas producers that the producers would need to commit to firm transportation if they wanted to sell their natural gas. At those meetings Dominion handed out forms asking producers to write down how much production they might have for firm commitment. Following the meetings, producers received contracts in the mail “out of the blue” with a very short deadline and a not-so-subtle threat that if they wanted to sell their gas, they would sign on the dotted line. The producers say they were pressured into signing a 10-year deal. Dominion’s Appalachian Gateway Project, with 110 miles of new pipeline and upgrades to several compressor stations, went online in September 2012 (see Dominion Turns On Appalachian Gateway Project Pipeline). Now some 37 of the producers that signed that deal are suing Dominion looking to break the contract and receive “compensatory and punitive damages”…

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