CLARKSBURG – Two lawsuits have been filed against EQT Production Company after the plaintiff claims the company has refused to release it from two leases.
Bounty Minerals owns an undivided 16.3581 percent interest in the minerals in and under approximately 312.9060 acres and undivided 25 percent in the minerals in and under approximately 64.4620 acres in Battelle District in Monongalia County, according to two complaints filed Nov. 6 in Monongalia Circuit Court and then removed to federal court on Dec. 18.
On one of the properties, in May 2009, a 1929 lease that had a five-year primary term and provided the lessor a one-eighth royalty for oil produced from the land and advanced quarterly payments of $100 for each gas well drilled on the land, was terminated for lack of production.
EQT has shown no intention or action of further developing the lease and the cessation of production and lack of intention or action to further develop have terminated the lease.
Bounty requested a release from the 1929 lease, but EQT refused to provide one and, instead, asserted that the lease remains in full force and effect.
The plaintiff claims EQT has continued to send payments to Bounty purporting to represent shut-in payments under a 2010 amendment to the lease.
On the other property, a lease was made in 1915. The well on the property has not produced since 2009 and the lease has been terminated, because EQT has shown no intention or action of further developing the lease.
Bounty requested a release of the lease, but EQT refused and asserted that it remains in full force and effect, according to the suits.
Until a release is executed by EQT in the leases, Bounty is unable to lease or develop its interest in the land.
As a result, Bounty has suffered damages, including loss of prospective leases, bonus and royalty payments. Bounty remains ready and willing to return EQT all payments that EQT has sent to Bounty based on the terminated leases, according to the suits.
Bounty is seeking judgment that the leases have been terminated. It is being represented by Paul B. Westbrook of Harris, Finley & Bogle.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case numbers: 1:17-cv-00219, 1:17-cv-00220