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January 6, 2014

Court Rejects Landowners' Attempts to Deny EQT Access to Conduct Seismic Testing

We previously reported that back on July 22, 2013, EQT Production Company (EQT) sued dozens of its Pennsylvania lessors residing in Allegheny County alleging the right to pool leases under recent amendments to the Oil and Gas Lease Act of 1979 (Senate Bill 259) which explicitly allows operators to pool contiguous leases using horizontal drilling unless prohibited by a lease.   The lawsuit also alleged that the lessors had improperly impeded the company from accessing their property to perform seismic testing and, just last week, a Pennsylvania state court agreed.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward ordered that, as soon as EQT pays a $25,000 bond, the lessors are enjoined from interfering with EQT’s reasonable ingress, egress and access to and use of the 16 properties subject to the litigation for purposes of performing seismic testing.

The judge’s order was issued without a memorandum decision but one is expected to follow.  The case is EQT Production Company v. Opatkiewicz, et al (Case No. GD-13-013489).

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