CLARKSBURG – Berry Energy Inc. is suing Antero Resources Corporation after it claims Antero improperly withheld nearly $300,000.

Chesapeake Appalachia LLC was also named as a defendant in the suit.

In 2010, Berry Energy assigned certain rights in several of its oil and gas leases to Chesapeake but retained an overriding royalty interest of 5.5 percent in the oil and gas produced from those leases, according to a complaint originally filed in Harrison Circuit Court and later removed to federal court.

Berry claims its overriding royalty interest was free of all development, production and operating expense.

Antero subsequently obtained certain interests in some of the leases that Berry assigned to Chesapeake through various operating agreements and some of the leases were subsequently pooled with other leases and drilling units were created, according to the suit.

Berry claims when gas was subsequently produced from those units, Antero and/or Chesapeake were obliged to pay Berry for its overriding royalty interest in the leases it assigned to Chesapeake.

However, Antero began deducting development, production and operating expenses from overriding royalty interest payments to Berry  and rejected the requests that Antero cease its practice of improper deductions and refund the previous improper deductions.

Berry claims the defendants also breached their duty of good faith and fair dealing through their conduct.

The defendants were also unjustly enriched at Berry’s expense according to the suit.

Berry is seeking compensatory damages of nearly $300,000 and punitive damages. It is being represented by Jonathan R. Marshall of Bailey & Glasser.

Antero is represented by Timothy M. Miller and Katrina Bowers of Babst Calland Clement & Zomnir.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 1:17-cv-00096

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