PA AG’s Lawsuit Derails Demchak/Chesapeake Royalty Settlement

In March 2015 MDN reported on the “Demchak” royalty case in which a group of Pennsylvania landowners had agreed to a settlement with Chesapeake over Chessy’s alleged shorting of royalty payments (see Chesapeake’s PA Royalty Settlement Affects Some, Not All Landowners). As we reported at the time, “several thousand” landowners sharing two-thirds of the $11 million settlement (the other one-third going to the lawyers) didn’t seem all that great a deal to us. But we’re not PA landowners with a dog in this fight. Toward the end of last year the issue got heated again as landowners (many landowners) were faced with a decision of whether or not to opt out of the settlement (see Packed Meeting in Towanda Discusses Chesapeake Royalty Settlement). Then along came PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane, herself under indictment for felony crimes, with her own lawsuit against Chesapeake over the royalty issue (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). It seems Kane’s lawsuit has now put the brakes on the Demchak settlement that was supposed to have taken place in early February. That plan is now delayed…

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