Large Natural Gas Producer to Pay West Virginia ... - ProPublica

The second largest natural gas producer in West Virginia will pay $ 53.5 million to set a legal dispute allegedly that the company was talking to thousands of residents and state businesses by charging them for royalties of gas, in accordance with the terms of the pocket in court this week.

EQT agreed on Pittsburgh Corp. to pay the money to eliminate the litigation of federal action given on behalf of 9,000 people, allegedly that EQT made unacceptable charges unfairly from royalties checks.

The deal is the latest in a series of settlements in cases that have accused natural gas companies to tackle such transfers to share more of the profits from the pocket in natural gas production in West Virginia's pocket.

This law was among royalties raised last year in a joint investigation by Charleston Gazette-Mail and ProPublica who demonstrated how western Virginia's natural gas producers stand up royalties for thousands of residents and businesses. The complainants stated that EQT did inappropriate transport costs and processed off their royalty payments. The EQT stated that its royalty payment calculations were fair and fair.

A scheduled trial was due to start in November but it was canceled after the parties reached the trial arrangement. No details were found on the settlement on Wednesday.

Under the settlement agreement, EQT Production Co. of $ 53.5 million into a settlement fund. The company will eliminate these post-production costs from royalty payments.

"This was the chance to spend a new leaf in our relationship with our West Virginia leasing and this agreement mutually reflects our renewal commitment to the state of West Virginia," said CEO of the EQT, Robert McNally, in a prepared statement.

EQT is working to earn West Virginians' trust and community leaders, he said.

Marvin Masters, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, called the "motivation" settlement after six years of litigation. (There is a Masters among a group of investors who bought Charleston Gazette-Mail last year.)

Funds will be allocated to leavers of natural gas rights under their territory in West Virginia to EQT between December 8, 2009, and December 31, 2017. EQT will pay up to $ 2 million in administrative fees to distribute the settlement.

Calculation payments will be calculated based on those factors as the amount of gas produced and sold from each of the materials, as well as the amount deducted from royalty payments. The number of people applying can apply to settlement payments. All members of the class submitting a minimum payment will receive a minimum payment of $ 200. The settlement allows solicitors to collect up to one-third of the settlement, or about $ 18 million, subject to court approval.

The settlement is pending before the Deputy District Judge. John Preston Bailey in the North West District of West Virginia. The judge pre-approved him Monday, which begins with a public announcement process about the terms and fairness hearing of July 11 in Wheeling, West Virginia. Payments would not be made until that process is complete.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail and ProPublica want to tell the story of changing landscape in West Virginia, and how the coal and natural gas are affecting it. West Virginians: Tell us how your community is changing. Call us or go to us at 347-244-2134, or email us: [email protected].

Kate Mishkin and Ken Ward Jr cover the environment, safety and energy in the workplace, with a focus on coal and natural gas for Johnstown Cavan. Email Kate at [email protected] and she continued on Twitter at @katemishkin; e-mail Ken at [email protected] and follow it on Twitter at @ peacefully.

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