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 Surface Usage and Pipelines

Will Cryptocurrency and Data Mining Add New Complexity to Oil & Gas Zoning?

Questions about the zoning of oil and gas development operations have persisted in Pennsylvania for years. Now, cryptocurrency and data mining operations may create new wrinkles in long-running...
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Federal Court in West Virginia Rules That Insurance Policies Do Not Cover Claims by Oil and Gas Driller for Lost Drilling Opportunities

In its March 14, 2023 decision in Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. Solwind Energy, LLC, Case No. 2:22-CV-00036 (S.D.W.Va. Mar. 14, 2023), the United States District Court for the...
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The Strip and Gore Doctrine - Who Really Owns The Oil and Gas Under Roads and Highways?

Let’s assume your grandfather owned 99 acres in Washington County. In 1955, he sells a small portion of the farm to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to...
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Regulating Underground Injection Wells for Carbon Sequestration in Pennsylvania

If carbon in the atmosphere is a problem, and that atmospheric carbon resulted from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, then a simple solution is to remove...
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Coordinating Solar Farm Development With Oil and Gas Rights in Pennsylvania

Solar farm developers who do not enter into surface use agreements with Pennsylvania oil, gas and mineral owners (and their lessees) could create legal jeopardy for their solar...
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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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Pore Space: The Next Leasing Frontier for Pennsylvania Landowners?

Let’s assume you own a 135 acre farm in Washington County.  In 1976, your grandfather signed an oil and gas lease with ABC Oil.  Several years later, ABC...
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A Possible Blueprint for Landowners Challenging Pipeline Companies

A Possible Blueprint for Landowners Challenging Pipeline Companies Landowners in Kentucky may be emboldened by a recent decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals that rejected an attempt...
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Pipeline Operators: Public Utility or Pipeline Futility?

The meteoric development of the Marcellus Shale is staggering. Since 2004, nearly 7,800 unconventional gas wells have been drilled throughout Pennsylvania. One of the stark realities of this...
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Good News for Landowners Means Bad News for Trespassers

In a recent decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court gave diligent landowners powerful protection against unwanted subsurface activity. In Sabella v. Appalachian Development, 2014 Pa. Super. 237 (2014), the...
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West Virginia Supreme Court Rules That Horizontal Wells Cannot Be Drilled Into Adjacent Tracts Pursuant to 1901 Lease

Imagine your family has owned a 230-acre tree farm in Butler County for over 100 years. Back in 1937, your grandfather sold the oil and gas rights under...
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HB 1391: Putting Teeth Back in Pennsylvania’s Minimum Royalty Statute

Throughout Pennsylvania, landowners are continuing to experience “sticker shock” when they open their royalty statements related to gas drilling. The practice of deducting post-production costs from the royalty...
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Adverse Possession – Can Surface Owner Acquire Title to Gas Formations by Mere Passage of Time?

Gas operators have been drilling gas wells throughout this Commonwealth for over a hundred years. As a result, the Pennsylvania countryside is littered with tens of thousands of...
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Local Zoning Ordinances May Hinder Oil/Gas Development

A recent ruling from Lycoming County suggests that the next big fight over Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania may be waged at the local municipal level. For those...
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The Accommodation Doctrine: Balancing the Interests of the Surface Owner and the Mineral Owner

As the rush to access the Marcellus Shale formation continues, landowners throughout the Commonwealth are learning that their properties may be the next location for a horizontal well...
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Subsurface Trespass – Can They Take the Gas Under My Property Without a Lease?

This is a familiar yet troubling question. Imagine that you own 150 acres in southwestern Pennsylvania. You have received offers from several prominent gas producers but have not...
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Not All is Quiet on the Quiet Title Front

A decision from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania should serve as an important reminder for landowners who, in the midst of ongoing oil...
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Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells On Your Property – More Than Just a Rusty Eyesore

Imagine you just inherited a 200-acre farm in rural Butler County that has been in your family for decades. As a young child, you recall walking through one...
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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