WV Landowner Tries to Stop Shale Drilling with New Water Wells

Here’s a novel approach by a landowner to try and stop drilling on land already leased. A landowner in Doddridge County, WV didn’t like how he was being treated by driller EQT, so he drilled several water wells close to where EQT planned to drill Marcellus Shale gas wells on his property. In WV, you can’t drill within 250 feet of a water well–so the water wells effectively shut down drilling on his property.

Except… EQT is now suing the landowner for bad faith and intentionally trying to obstruct a signed contract. Based on the facts in the case, we expect EQT will prevail. Drilling the water wells was “cheating” to prevent drilling and ultimately to get out of the lease. Creative, perhaps–but misguided…

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