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New Bill To Address Royalty Concerns Would Require Monthly Gas Production Reports

A Bradford County drilling rig.

Scott Detrow / StateImpactPA

A Bradford County drilling rig.

A Bradford County lawmaker thinks twice a year isn’t enough for landowners who want to know what they’re getting from gas production on their leases.
Rep. Tina Pickett (R) is proposing a bill that would require gas well owners to file production reports on a monthly basis.
More from the Scranton Times-Tribune:

Well operators provide production data on a semi-annual basis to the state Department of Environmental Protection under a 2010 law. The law’s author, Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, Williamsport, supports changing over to a monthly reporting requirement, an aide said Tuesday.
“As this industry continues to develop, we have seen the need for monthly reporting requirements so that production reports are more comparable to monthly royalty payments,” said Ms. Pickett in a memo. “This will allow for greater transparency for our land owners and provide a better understanding of production across the Commonwealth.”

In recent months, landowners in some of Pennsylvania’s busiest drilling counties have been complaining that some gas companies have been underpaying royalties, despite stipulations in their leases that prohibit deductions for so-called “post-production costs.” Last week, Chesapeake Energy Corp. agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit with plaintiffs from several counties who claimed the company was unlawfully taking deductions.
The complaints have moved lawmakers to address these concerns. A hearing was held in late june and recently, a group of representatives is working on a bill that would make sure leaseholders are getting legally-mandated 12.5 percent royalty payments.
The most recent production filings from the Department of Environmental Protection in August show Pennsylvania produced over 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas in the first half of the year. Click here to see a chart of gas production by county.
Check out StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Shale Play Map App to see who’s drilling near you.

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