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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a chunk of land last year and just found out today that a well is going in right behind my barn in the field adjacent to mine.When I bought the property,I inquired about the gas rights and was told I'd have to have an attorny do a deed search.I planned on doing so until I talked with my neighbor one day and he told me that he owned them.Would it be worth having the search done?Is there anything I should do to protect my interests?I knew from the beginning that I was most likely SOL if they drilled near me but didn't expect to see a well so soon and so close.
 

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Doug, shouldn't the gas company know who has the rights? You may want to contact them before you spend any money on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I thought about that but I have to find out who's actually dilling.I'm not sure where they plan on piping this gas out either.
 

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If you have a copy of your deed, it should say whether you own them or not. If you don't have a copy, you can pull the deed at the county recorder of deeds or someone there should be able to assist you. The deed would indicate if you bought the mineral rights or not. You should also be able to track when they were sold and to whom while your there if you don't own them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gas rights aren't mentione in my deed.I'm no expert but I think it's a little too complacted to track it by myself.
 

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The mineral rights, gas, coal, etc, if sold would be recorded at the county. Most county recorder of deeds would be helpful enought to help you through the process of locating who owns the rights. Normally if you can provide them with previous owners, deeds, or your neighbors name that claims to own the rights, they could likely help you out. Your other option is to have an attorney do the work for a fee, but if your willing to spend a little time doing some research in the recorder of deeds office, you can likely get the information yourself.

On a side note, you might have a hard time getting any information from the gas company. Particularly if your not involved in the deal. I am guessing that if they did not contact you about your gas rights at this point and the well is going in on top of your property, then you probably don't own the rights. But it never hurts to look into the matter.

Good luck.
 

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dce-you may or may not own the gas rights but your deed is likely silent on the issue. You or an abstractor would need to search the title back to the 1880's or so to be certain. The title chain could be straight forward or it could be complex-you wouldn't know until you looked.
 

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While it may be necessary to have a title search done, if a deed makes no mention of gas/mineral rights, the info on previous owners of that parcel should still be retained at the Recorder of Deeds office?

Problem these days with going in and expecting help, is that many of those offices are packed with people doing the research and the clerks are very busy. They can direct you to the proper book containing the info on each parcel, but I wouldn't expect much help in actually looking it up in that book?

Last time I was in that office at the Tioga Co. courthouse, must've been at least a dozen or more others in there, pouring over the records. Probably two or three years ago, on the leading edge of the Marcellus shale boom.

My cabin land deed has one line in it noting when the gas/mineral rights were sold; Who the land owner was at the time (1930s) those rights were sold and to whom those rights were sold, back then.

Hard to imagine a current deed not having all such info in it?
 

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Many of the old deeds talk about mineral rights due to coal but that is not the same as deep gas rights. Your neighbor my have sold the lot and kept the mineral rights but that does not mean he has the gas rights. You may have to pay an attorney to review the deed. If you have a home on this lot with a water well I would also have it tested now before they start drilling.
 

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personaly, i think if there was ever a time it was worth spending a few hundred bucks on a attorney, this would be it. you could be talking about a significant amount of money in royaltys over the years.

not to mention having a clear understanding of what your rights are as the surface owner , should you not own the mineral rights. Things like pipelines come to mind......
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They're all things that I'm conerned about.I do have a house on the property as well as a barn with water.I'm not against the drilling but I just want to make sure my butt is covered.Do the gas companies normally pay to have your water tested or is that something I should do myself.

I just bought this property last year and leases were signed about a year before that.I know several people that own their gas rights and a few that don't.I'm pretty sure that I don't but I want to make sure.The guy that I bought the property from was a customer/friend of mine.He claimed from the beginning that he didn't know who owned them.I feel that he knew he didn't own them.
 

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gas comp will pay to have water tested. chesapeake is testing out to 1500 feet, and i believe they are going to start to go out to 2,000 (may have already) from the well head.

state law WAS , the gas comps were responsable for your water quality, NOT QUANTATY, for 6 months after they drilled. they were required to test water 1,000 ft radius from well head.
i know there were rumblings about getting that changed, but i dont know if it has yet?

gas comps dont do post test unless there is a complaint. that is why a lot of people were having their water tested about 4 months after drilling, gives you 2 months to retest or prove issues/liability before the 6 months were up.

you should definatly find out who owns the mineral rights. also, what type of lease was signed....i aint no lawyer, but that would concern me. did other rights of that lease transfer with the deed?
 

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I know these guys ( http://www.pagaslaw.net ) do deed work pertaining to mineral rights. Their main gas attorney is suppose to be one of the most knowledgeable in the state. Worth a preliminary phone call I would think.
 

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Make sure the water is tested. Especially your well water, any ponds, creeks, etc.. Chessapeake is one of the "bigger" violators of the companies that are doing the drilling. Don't take their word for anything, cover your bases and if need be contact a lawyer that has 'experience' in these matters. Also chcek and see what the set backs, etc are from the well to your property.......
 

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CHK has more violations because they have over twice as many rigs drilling than any other company in PA. more exposure, more violations.

but you are 100% right when you say dont believe a word they tell you, get things confirmed with a lawyer first !
 

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No wait a second Buzz, acording to the TV ads down here, these companies are ONLY looking out for the best interests of all the citizens of PA. I mean, holy heck, I'd swear they are the second coming of Christ!
 

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dce, call the clearfield co courthouse and ask them to put you in touch with a local abstractor and ask them to do a search first, before getting an attorney involved. You could do it yourself, but it can be a pretty complicated process sometimes!
 

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been through the entire process. If your deed is fee simple like mentioned above or warranty deed, then you will have the mineral rights. Unless you bought your property from a reliable friend or something like that, I can't understand why you didn't use a lawyer for the closing, and that should have included a deed search, which is done to show things like liens against the property and minerals. Either way, going to the courthouse, and to the recorder of deeds office is easy, and the process of finding your deed is not that big of a deal. They should be willing to help you there because that is what they are there for. There are separate files (books) for mineral rights signed off to another party. If the office isn't sure by reading your deed, ask for help to navigate to the mineral deed books. Actually, they are in books, but most of the recorders now have it all on the computer. Now for the lease. Even if you don't have the mineral rights, they still need to contact you about the drilling and to have your water checked if they are within their limits of your well.
Good luck will all this. I made some fair royalties from the wells here, but if I had it to do over, and knew what layed beyond the drilling and gas extraction, I would never have signed, and most of the people here feel the same way. These gas companies are liars, deceivers, connivers, and lots of other words I can't print here.
 
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