Gas company gets new hearing on West Virginia royalties

By The Associated Press

West Virginia's highest court has agreed to reconsider its November ruling barring natural gas companies from deducting post-production costs from the royalties paid to landowners for mineral rights.

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's highest court has agreed to reconsider its November ruling barring natural gas companies from deducting post-production costs from the royalties paid to landowners for mineral rights.

The Supreme Court split 3-2 in granting a rare rehearing.

At stake is whether landowners or production companies will get more money.

West Virginia gas production is starting to boom.

Chief Justice Allen Loughry, Justice Menis Ketchum and newly elected Justice Elizabeth Walker agreed to reconsider the case.

EQT Production Co., based in Pittsburgh, wants to subtract its downstream costs from royalties.

Justices Margaret Workman and Robin Jean Davis opposed rehearing. They joined then-Justice Brent Benjamin in the 3-2 November ruling favoring landowners who sued EQT.

A 1982 state law set minimum royalties of 12.5 percent of gas produced at the wellhead.

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