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Question
My father and cousins have recently learned they are owners of gas rights within a tract of land in Warren PA.  They received an offer for $2200 by the refining company that owns the land and 1/3 interest in the gas.  Another party that owns 1/3 has been taking gas from the tract.  They have never received and royalties but have been owners of this interest for 23 years.  The party that has been taking gas has not reported amounts taken even though the state has ordered them to do so.  I believe the offer is low and that they are owed royalties for any production during the 23 years.  The refining company has filed suit to halt all production and says they have no interest in developing the mineral rights on that tract.   Any advice or thoughts?

Answer
This question is outside my expertise because I am not an attorney licensed in Pennsylvania.  I must strongly, very strongly, urge you to convince at least your father to consult with an oil & gas attorney licensed in Pennsylvania because based on what you have told me here, this is information that could warrant legal action to protect your father's and cousins' land rights.  At the very least, I advise that no one sign anything until a lawyer has been consulted.  

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Marsha Breazeale, M.Ed., CDOA, CPLTA

Expertise

All questions regarding division orders; ownership decimal calculations; title ownership and payer record changes (testate/intestate inheritance; deed; assignment; court order); oil and gas lease analysis for record-keeping and purposes of payment by operator or payer; pooling, horizontal wells, horizontal well allocation units; unclaimed property reporting; royalty owner relations questions. All questions concerning administration of surface land contracts and payment questions, such as for Surface Right-of-Way, Sub-Surface Right-of-Way, Easement, Surface Use Agreement. All questions regarding industry-standard and company-specific policies that affect land owners.

Experience

Sr. Staff Division Order Analyst. Certified Division Order Analyst (CDOA, National Association of Division Order Analysts) and Certified Lease Analyst (CPLTA, National Association of Professional Lease and Title Analysts) with 35 years of experience as a combination division order analyst and lease analyst in exploration and production in the oil and gas industry.

Organizations
National Assoc. of Division Order Analysts (NADOA), National Association of Division Order Analysts (NALTA), American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), American Society of Trainers and Developers (ASTD)

Publications
"How an Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Company Operates" and "Principles of Oil & Gas Lease Analysis: Standard Clauses", Oil Patch Press; Articles in NADOA Magazine; LandFocus EDU Professional Training Manuals

Education/Credentials
B.A.in Management from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio; M.Ed. in Instructional Design from WGU Texas.

Past/Present Clients
Past 15 years: GeoSouthern Energy Corporation; Contango Oil Co./Crimson Exploration & Operating Inc.; Apache Corporation; BP America; Marathon Oil; Newfield Exploration

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