Chesapeake seeks an injunction to use mineral rights

By Audrey Holsclaw | May 2, 2008

CHARLESTON -- Chesapeake Appalachia is seeking injunctive relief after the owner of surface rights barred them from his property.

In January 2008, Chesapeake Appalachia, previously known as Columbia Natural Resources, submitted an application with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to drill a well on Eugene Frye's property. Frye objected to the permit application, but the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued it anyway. While Frye owns the surface property, Chesapeake Appalachia does own the mineral rights.

On March 30, 2008, Frye denied Chesapeake Appalachia access to his surface for building an access road and drilling a well.

In the suit filed on April 22, 2008, Chesapeake Appalachia claims that the inability to drill and construct the well has cost it damages in excess of $75,000. It believes that without the injunction the company will suffer irreparable harm but that Frye would not suffer any.

Followed by Matthew Casto, legal counsel for Chesapeake Appalachia, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, the company is seeking entry of an immediate order requiring Frye to allow Chesapeake and any of its contractors, representatives, or agents to access the surface estate to drill and construct its well and an access road to it. It is also seeking recovery of delay and special damages, attorneys' fees, and any other costs incurred.

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