Williams Evaluating Pipeline “Incident” in Dimock, PA

Welcome to Dimock signResidents in Dimock Township, PA near Carter Road–an area made infamous by Josh Fox in his Gasland movies–had a bit of a scare last Thursday when they heard a loud noise, like “a 747 jet plane.” As it turns out, it was noise coming from scheduled maintenance of a natural gas pipeline in the area owned and operated by Williams. A Williams spokeswoman says, “The process did not go as it should have.” Oops.

According to some concerned local pro-drilling residents, this is not the first Williams mishap in the area…
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Chesapeake to Release 12K Acres of NY Leases Next Week

About a month ago, MDN told you that Chesapeake has decided to end their fight with New York landowners over extending their leases (see Chesapeake Energy Throws in the Towel on NY Shale Drilling). Although it’s taken the past month to iron out the paperwork, it seems that Chesapeake (and NY landowners) will finalize and sign an agreement “sometime next week” to release 12,000 acres of leases in Broome and Tioga counties.

Chesapeake walking away from these leases is bittersweet. Sweet because it releases landowners from old leases signed before fracking was even contemplated, allowing them to re-sign a new lease with better terms. Bitter because it indicates Chesapeake is unwilling to put up with Gov. Andrew “Ditherer” Cuomo any longer as he agonizes over whether he will or whether he won’t allow fracking…
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Cabot Investor Presentation from August: Cool Maps & More

A few weeks back Cabot Oil & Gas released their latest Investor Presentation, prepared for the EnerCom Oil & Gas Conference held in Denver (August 12, 2013). We always enjoy Cabot’s PowerPoint presentations because they’re so informative. This latest presentation doesn’t disappoint.

We’ve embedded the full presentation below. Our favorite slides: Cabot’s Marcellus Summary map on page 12, which overlays a map of Susquehanna County, PA with township boundaries and flags showing not only where their wells are located (by township), but also which ones are producing the most (by color). Very cool. We also like the Interstate Pipeline map on page 18, showing how Cabot gets all that gas–now over 1 billion cubic feet per day–to market…
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Landmen & Drillers: 6 Steps to Keep a Lease Out of WV Court

The JDSupra Law News website reports on a West Virginia court case that may have far-reaching consequences for landowners in WV and for landmen and drillers operating in the state. The case is called Barber v. Magnum Land Services, LLC, a recent case filed in Preston County, WV, now transferred to the Northern District. The Barber case, according to JDSupra, has the potential to settle many other outstanding cases along the same lines and is being used as a proxy and precedent for other cases.

The Barber case alleges a landman (from Magnum Land Services) pressured a landowner into signing a lease to allow drilling with the statement that if the landowner did not sign, their land would be drilled under anyway and they would not receive any royalties–a veiled (and inaccurate) reference to “the law of capture” in WV. The landman also did not make the landowner aware of other signed offers, withholding important information about the potential value of the lease. The plaintiffs in Barber are using several legal arguments to nullify the lease. We won’t delve into the technicalities of the case (click below to read about it on the JDSupra website). However, JDSupra’s conclusion offers six steps landmen and drillers should adopt in the way they interact with landowners–steps that will help keep their leases out of court:
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Transient Pipeline Workers in WV Charged with Murdering Student

Very sad news. Two out-of-state natural gas pipeline workers (and possibly a third still at large) are accused of murdering a Wheeling, WV university student. News reports from Wheeling state that another student who was attacked at the same time and survived said there had been “unpleasantries” exchanged (i.e. arguing) not long before the pair were attacked around 1:45 am in the morning. Diligent work by local investigators made the connection to the out-of-state pipeline workers living in an RV park a few miles from where the attack occurred.

According to local police, this is the first time they’ve had criminal problems with natgas workers. Pittsburgh KDKA’s Andy Sheehan reports on this breaking news…
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JLCNY Fact Sheet on “Takings” Lawsuit – We Need More $$

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is ready to sue New York State on behalf of landowners for “takings”–the concept that the state has illegally stopped property owners from using their land and therefore must compensate them for it. The only thing the JLCNY needs now is money–and lots of it–to pay legal and research expenses. Once they have the cash, the lawsuit will go forward.

Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the JLCNY, sent an email yesterday with a “fact sheet” about the lawsuit (see it below). The fact sheet attempts to clear up lingering questions about the lawsuit–its purpose, the way it will go forward, and when it will go forward. Please take time to donate to the JLCNY’s legal fund (MDN is a proud contributor)…
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NARO-PA Hosting Two Meetings in NE PA in September

MDN strongly supports the great work of NARO–the National Association of Royalty Owners. The Pennsylvania chapter of NARO will host two meetings for landowners in northeastern PA over the next several weeks. The first meeting will be held in Montrose (Susquehanna County) on Sept. 10. The second meeting will be held in Laceyville (Wyoming County) on Sept. 18.

The details:
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