WV Landowners *with* Lease Sue Chesapeake for Drilling Next Door

A mother and son have filed a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy in Brooke County, WV charging them with illegal trespass under their property and taking some of the natural gas that exists in the Marcellus Shale from under their property. West Virginia does not have a pooling law—the right of drillers to “force pool” parcels of land into a drilling unit if a majority of surrounding neighbors have agreed to allow it.

The strange thing about this case is that the mother and son have a signed lease with Chesapeake—a lease which they renewed for an additional 5-year term. For some reason they don’t want their property pooled with their neighbors into a unit for Marcellus drilling—they refused it. So Chesapeake drilled next door to their property, essentially ignoring them. The landowners say Chesapeake’s close-by drilling has caused them economic harm. It’s now a case in federal court…

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