PA Court Rules “On” Does Not Mean “Under” in Lease Payment Case

A Pennsylvania landowner thought he could finagle extra payments from XTO Energy after his land was drilled under from a neighboring property. The landowner had signed a lease, and the lease contains language that says if XTO were to drill “on” his property (i.e. install a well pad) the landowner would receive an extra payment. The landowner sued saying “on” also means “under” when XTO drilled under his property. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania disagreed, saying “on” means “on the surface” and “under” does not mean “on”.

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