Pennsylvania legislator proposes oil and gas lease protection package

In July 2013, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 66 of 2013 which regulates how oil and gas royalty information is provided to lessors. As noted in prior blog postings, the law requires transparency in the issuance of royalty checks, with each check stub containing an itemization of all deductions. On September 30, 2013, State Senator Gene Yaw, R-Lycoming, announced his proposal to expand the rights of leaseholders with increased transparency under his “Oil and Gas Lease Protection Package.” The three components of this Package are:
  • Landowners would be allowed to inspect the oil and gas company’s records to verify the amount of royalty paid, but must keep this information confidential.
  • If the landowner questions the accuracy of any royalty payments, the oil and gas companies cannot retaliate against any landowner by terminating the lease or by ceasing development of the land.
  • Within 30 days of a lease’s end, the oil and gas company would be required to file in the county deed records a “satisfaction piece” providing details about the end of the lease. 
In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Rep. Michelle Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer, announced her proposed legislation to ban the practice of forced pooling under Act 66 of 2013. See prior blog for more information.