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Monday, August 13, 2018

Chesapeake Reaches Settlement With Some PA Landowners in Lawsuit Over Royalty Scheme

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Chesapeake Energy Corp. has reached a $7.75 million settlement agreement with about two-thirds of its Pennsylvania natural gas royalty owners who claimed that the company inflated transportation and marketing costs, often leaving them with paltry payments for their gas. 
The agreement applies to about 10,000 early Chesapeake leases located mainly in northeastern Pennsylvania that do not have so-called market enhancement clauses, which limited the kinds of deductions the company could take from a landowner’s share of gas sales. 
It aims to resolve two class-action lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in 2014 known as Brown v. Access Midstream Partners and The Suessenbach Family Limited Partnership v. Access Midstream Partners. 
Access Midstream was once Chesapeake’s pipeline subsidiary and is now owned by Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams. 
If the settlement is approved by a judge, royalty owners who don’t opt out of the agreement will get a proportional share of some of the past costs that Chesapeake subtracted from royalty payments and the ability to choose from two options for how royalties will be paid going forward.
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