Energy. Environment. Economy.

Feds subpoena Chesapeake Energy over royalty complaints

Chesapeake Energy's offices in Athens, Bradford County.

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

Chesapeake Energy's offices in Athens, Bradford County.

Chesapeake Energy has been subpoenaed by the federal Department of Justice, seeking information on its royalty payment practices to mineral owners.

The company has been the subject of widespread complaints in Pennsylvania and other areas of the country where it operates. Landowners have accused Chesapeake of violating lease agreements and underpaying royalties.

In a regulatory filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company disclosed it has received subpoenas from the DOJ and other states. Chesapeake says it has “engaged in discussions with the DOJ and state representatives” and continues to respond to demands for information.

In an email to StateImpact Pennsylvania, Chesapeake spokesman Gordon Pennoyer declined to comment.

Earlier this year Governor Corbett wrote a letter to Chesapeake’s CEO, Doug Lawler, saying the company’s royalty practices, “strike many as unfair and perhaps illegal.” He asked state Attorney General Kathleen Kane to investigate.

Kane’s office has repeatedly declined to comment on the matter, citing the ongoing investigation.


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