WV Supreme Court to Rehear EQT Post Production Royalty Case, Maybe

More twists and turns to report with respect to an issue we previously reported with the potential to impact every mineral rights owner and driller in West Virginia. In December MDN reported on the huge West Virginia Supreme Court decision against driller EQT that disallows EQT from deducting post-production expenses from royalty checks, even with signed contracts in place (see WV Supreme Court Rules EQT Can’t Deduct P-P Costs from Royalties). The justices, in their ruling, said that drillers can “not deduct from that (royalty) amount any expenses that have been incurred in gathering, transporting or treating the oil or gas after it has been initially extracted, any sums attributable to a loss or beneficial use of volume beyond that initially measured or any other costs that may be characterized as post-production.” A really big deal. Then in February, with a brand new justice on the bench, the WV Supreme Court agreed to rehear the case after an appeal filed by EQT–a rare and unusual step (see EQT Catches Big Break in WV Supreme Court re Royalty Deductions). A member of the West Virginians for Property Rights group said members are “pretty nervous about this.” Those who already won the case say the high court’s decision to rehear is tantamount to playing the fourth quarter of a playoff game all over again–fundamentally unfair. The court will rehear the case next Tuesday–IF they don’t grant a motion to dismiss the rehearing. The mineral rights owners involved filed the motion saying the newest justice who just came on the bench in January should not have voted to rehear a case she previously didn’t hear…

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