Judge Certifies Royalty Class Action Against EQT, CONSOL in VA

This is a story we have not previously covered on MDN. It goes back to 2010 and involves two of the biggest Marcellus/Utica drillers–although in this case the issue is not related to the Marcellus/Utica. Landowners in southwestern Virginia previously sued both EQT and CONSOL Energy’s CNX subsidiary over charges that EQT and CNX shorted landowners out of royalties owed to them, claiming post-production expenses, deductions for severance taxes, etc. that should not have been taken. The wells drilled were conventional wells–some 3,347 EQT wells and 4,261 CNX wells. The vertical wells targeted methane extraction from coal seams–not horizontal wells through shale, which is far more common today. Some lawsuits were green lighted as class action cases in 2013, with a potential for “thousands of landowners” to participate in sharing $30 million in payouts. Last week a federal judge certified three of the five class action lawsuits, allowing them to move forward…

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