The Oil and Gas Addendum

An Oil and Gas Blog for Landowners. The law of oil and gas here in Pennsylvania and throughout the Marcellus Shale region is complex and continues to evolve and change. If you own oil and gas rights, keeping up to date on these changes and trends is critical. The Oil and Gas Addendum is your resource for timely and informational articles on the latest developments in oil and gas law. Our oil and gas practice here at Houston Harbaugh is dedicated to protecting the interests of landowners and royalty owners. From new lease negotiations, to title disputes, to royalty litigation, we can help. We know oil and gas.
Articles posted in Pooling and Unitization

Ohio Federal Court Allows Subsurface Trespass Suit To Move Forward

This is a familiar yet troubling question. Imagine you own 135 acres in Washington County. You have received offers from several oil and gas drillers but have not...
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Can Retroactive Pooling and Unitization Revive An Expired Lease?

As we have written about before, a troubling issue facing landowners in the Marcellus Shale region is the practice of retroactive pooling and unitization. Retroactive pooling and unitization...
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What the Hedge? - The Impact of Price Hedging on Landowner Production Royalties

There is no way to avoid it. It seems like everything costs more now than it did last week, last month and last year. Energy is one area...
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Is Deducting Fuel Costs Authorized by Your Lease?

Not only are landowners denied a royalty on the fuel gas volume, but they are also having that same “cost” deducted from their production royalty.
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Pooling Clause Not Necessary: West Virginia Court Finds Implied Right to Pool Exists Where Lease Silent

The development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has been facilitated by the marriage of modern drilling technology with the legal concept known as “pooling”. In short, a...
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Pennsylvania Superior Court Rejects Rule of Capture in Subsurface Trespass Suit

In a landmark decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court recently ruled that the “rule of capture” does not apply to frac fissures that extend under unleased parcels. The decision...
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Has Forced Pooling Come to Pennsylvania With SB 259?

Imagine you own a 95-acre farm in Washington County, Pa. The farm has been in your family since the 1930s. Your great-grandfather signed an oil and gas lease...
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Is Your Driller Really Enhancing the Value of Your Gas?

The driller cannot deduct the cost of dehydrating the raw gas and then moving the gas 165 miles away to a distant buyer unless the final net sales price at that location is better than the price the driller would have received selling the gas locally.
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Is Your Driller Trying to Re-Write History?

The driller cannot unilaterally amend or modify the underlying lease by changing the effective date of the pooling instrument.  This, in turn, means that the driller cannot go back in time and make retroactive changes to the previously recorded unit declaration.  The driller can change or modify the size, shape, and boundary of the unit but those changes can only affect your royalty prospectively.
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Hordis v. Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation: Landowner Challenges Whether Driller Can Ignore Pooling Clause and Simply Rely on Act 85

Oil and gas law is replete with unique terms and concepts. Perhaps one of the most confusing and complex areas of oil and gas law is the concept...
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Supreme Court Decision in Briggs v. Southwestern Energy is a “Win” for Pennsylvania Landowners

On January 22, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated ruling in Briggs v. Southwestern Energy Production Company regarding the interplay between the “rule of capture” and...
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Act 85 and Cross-Unit Drilling – More Questions Than Answers for Landowners

On November 7, 2019, Governor Wolf signed Act 85 of 2019 (“Act 85”) into law. This is an unfortunate and deeply flawed piece of legislation. Pursuant to Act...
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Houston Harbaugh, P.C. Files “amicus Curiae Brief’ On Behalf Of The Pennsylvania Chapter Of The National Association Of Royalty Owners In Briggs, Et Al V. Southwestern Energy (63 Map 2018)

Robert J. Burnett is a director and chair of Houston Harbaugh’s Oil and Gas practice. To learn more about our work with landowners and royalty owners, visit our Oil...
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Murphy Exploration v. Adams: Texas Supreme Court Suggests That Horizontal Well Bore Will Not Drain Hydrocarbons From Adjacent Tract

As more and more horizontal well bores are being drilled across Pennsylvania, landowners are now keeping a closer eye on the location of nearby wells. For example, imagine...
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Free Natural Gas On Property: Who’s Entitled To Free Gas?

Suppose you purchase a 100-acre farm in Armstrong County. You are told that the property is subject to an old gas lease but that the farmhouse receives “free...
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About Us

Oil and gas development can present unique and complex issues that can be intimidating and challenging. At Houston Harbaugh, P.C., our oil and gas practice is dedicated to protecting the interests of landowners and royalty owners. From new lease negotiations to title disputes to royalty litigation, we can help. Whether you have two acres in Washington County or 5,000 acres in Lycoming County, our dedication and commitment remains the same.

We Represent Landowners in All Aspects of Oil and Gas Law

The oil and gas attorneys at Houston Harbaugh have broad experience in a wide array of oil and gas matters, and they have made it their mission to protect and preserve the landowner’s interests in matters that include:

  • New lease negotiations
  • Pipeline right-of-way negotiations
  • Surface access agreements
  • Royalty audits
  • Tax and estate planning
  • Lease expiration claims
  • Curative title litigation
  • Water contamination claims
Pittsburgh Oil and Gas Lawyer Robert Burnett attorney headshot

Robert Burnett - Practice Chair

Robert’s practice is exclusively devoted to the representation of landowners and royalty owners in oil and gas matters. Robert is the Chair of the Houston Harbaugh’s Oil & Gas Practice Group and represents landowners and royalty owners in a wide array of oil and gas matters throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Robert assists landowners and royalty owners in the negotiation of new oil and gas leases as well as modifications to existing leases. Robert also negotiates surface use agreements and pipeline right-of-way agreements on behalf of landowners. Robert also advises and counsels clients on complex lease development and expiration issues, including the impact and effect of delay rental and shut-in clauses, as well as the implied covenants to develop and market oil and gas. Robert also represents landowners and royalty owners in disputes arising out of the calculation of production royalties and the deduction of post-production costs. Robert also assists landowners with oil and gas title issues and develops strategies to resolve and cure such title deficiencies. Robert also advises clients on the interplay between oil and gas leases and solar leases and assists clients throughout Pennsylvania in negotiating solar leases.

Head shot photo of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Lawyer Brendan O'Donnell at Houston Harbaugh

Brendan A. O'Donnell

Brendan O’Donnell is a highly qualified and experienced attorney in the Oil and Gas Law practice. He also practices in our Environmental and Energy Practice. Brendan represents landowners and royalty owners in a wide variety of matters, including litigation and trial work, and in the preparation and negotiation of:

  • Leases
  • Pipeline right of way agreements
  • Surface use agreements
  • Oil, gas and mineral conveyances