Landowners ordered to allow producer to begin preliminary pre-fracking tests

On December 26, 2013, the judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, ordered 69 individuals and one golf course in Allegheny County to allow an oil and gas production company “reasonable ingress, egress, access to and use of the…properties of…sixteen (16) oil and gas leases identified in the Amended Complaint for the purpose of performing seismic testing.” The company was ordered to post a bond of $25,000 before beginning the testing.

This order was issued in response to the production company’s October 2013 request for a preliminary injunction to allow access to the properties for testing, arguing that if access was blocked, its data collection efforts would suffer and costs would increase. The company’s lawsuit was filed in July 2013, shortly after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed a law giving drillers the ability to pool leased properties into one unit for horizontal wells, as long as the oil and gas contracts in effect do not prohibit these combinations.

See prior blog dated September 19, 2013, Pennsylvania landowners allege new pooling provision violates their constitutional rights.

This post was written by Barclay Nicholson ( or 713.651.3662) from Norton Rose Fulbright's Energy Practice Group.