On May 6, 2011, Jackson Kelly attorneys were successful in obtaining a ruling from Judge Facemire in West Virginia’s 14th Judicial Circuit that a landowner acted in bad faith when he drilled water wells within 200 feet of a gas well location for the purpose of preventing a lessee’s exercise of its rights under an oil and gas lease. The oil and gas lessor, which was also the surface owner, objected to the gas well permit application and then drilled the water wells. The court entered a preliminary injunction order extending the term of the lease to give the lessee additional time to drill a well. The case subsequently settled.
The order illustrates that following the advice posted on the West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization (WVSORO) website has its risks.
To review a full copy of the order, click here.