Man sues SWN Production Company for breach of contract

By Staff reports | Sep 8, 2017

WHEELING – A man is suing SWN Production Company after he claims it breached its contract with him.

Abel Lucey signed an oil, gas and coalbed methane lease on Aug. 22, 2006, and the lease was for a primary term of five years and had an expiration of Aug. 21, 2011, according to a complaint filed Aug. 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Lucey claims upon the expiration of the lease, the lessor granted an option to extend or renew the lease and Lucey rejected the extension and subsequently filed suit against the lessor.

Subsequently, on Oct. 29, 2012, the parties settled the litigation in which the lessor was to pay an additional $500 per acre for 189.14 acres, totaling $94,570, according to the suit.

Lucey claims two wells were not commenced within one year of Oct. 29, 2012, and at the termination of the lease terms, no notice of the unit declaration was provided to him, thereby making the declaration void.

At the termination date of the lease on Aug. 21, 2016, there were no well producing oil, gas and/or methane gas in the unit and there were no operations by the lessee in the search for oil, gas and/or coalbed methane gas or the drilling of an additional well subsequent to the plugging of a dry hole, according to the suit.

Lucey claims the defendant breached its contract with him and has trespassed on his land.

SWN has violated the exclusive possession by Lucey of the oil and gas strata that belongs to him and its conduct is intentional, wanton and with complete disregard of his property rights, according to the suit.

Lucey is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by David C. Hook of Hook & Hook.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-00126

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