Today I received a packet from a law office in Charleston WV and it is a summons Wetzel County Ascent Resources vs 73.13% who refused to sign their low ball offer. I am not a lawyer and this is all new to me. The way I read this is that they are taking it by eminent domain. I have 20 days to respond.
I am just beside myself. I never thought I'd be part of an eminent domain issue. This is an inheritance from my deceased mother.
Do anyone have any pointers? Is there anything we can do? I know some of the 73.13% tried to negotiate the contract and none of us were successful.
Sylvia, take a deep breath and then start a plan of action. If it were me I would look at that document and begin contacting other people who are receiving the same summons. Work together.
Thanks for your response, I appreciate it. I do plan to contact the other 58 people by this week end.
Time for an attorney.
Have an attorney review the contents of the "packet". The attorney will be able to give you "pointers"/advice as to how to proceed.
I do not understand the post,as everyone does not live in Wetzel Co. WV. more information would be helpful.low ball offer? taking what by eminent domain? please offer enough information to inform the people on this site of the situation, so they can give you an opinion. there are people with Law experience here that might be able to offer advice if they have the details.
Sorry Donald. I don't live in Wetzel county either and this is a whole new experience for me.
The initial offer was for 12% royalty, the wells with leases around the land are producing and they appear to have received 18% royalties and these leases are owned by Ascent resources.
The summons is their request for an appointed government official, I suppose a judge or lawyer type person(s) to put our mineral rights up for public auction and sell to the highest bidder. The proceeds, minus the cost of the government officials/lawyers and the remaining amount from the sale would be divided among us 59 holdout owners. There is NO mention of us receiving any royalties. The mineral rights would no longer be ours.
Did any of the documents have the word "partition" in it?
Yes, after the list of names of the Holdouts, it states in bold:
Complaint for Partition of oil and gas estate.
"Comes now the Plaintiff, Ascent Resources-Marcellus,LLC (Plaintiff), by counsel, and brings this action pursuant to W.Va. code 37-4-1 et seq. to partition by public sale the oil and gas estate in a parcel of land situate in Wetzel County, WV....."
This is what they are doing to you:
Thanks Sylvia, now I get the picture. I am in Oh. and not aware of that law in WV. as I am reading the posts, I understand what is going on. it is a very unfair Law and the land owners should be talking / screaming at the State Legislators to get this corrected, as I don't know how this could be supported by any St .Official. we have forced polling, but at least they cant sell our mineral rights. the best of luck in your situation.
What happens if you don't pay the tax bill on your minerals?
I hear some counties are separating them out.....and if not paid...they get auctioned off.
Is this true?
Time for an attorney. Ask around and try to find one who's reputable. They all say they "specialize" in oil and gas these days.
From a few conversations with some Wetzel County people, this is what I think is happening here.
WV does not have a pooling process, the Legislature turned it down last year, but is reconsidering a version in this year's legislative session.
The way in which the oil and gas companies are getting around it is by these partition suits. The oil and gas company buys as little as an acre in the unit which gives them the right to file the partition suit forcing those who have not signed a lease to be forced out. Some property owner in the unit is unhappy that a well is not being drilled and is willing to sell some acreage to force the issue. Could be a distant relative.
Ascent is not the only one doing this. A company that has a good reputation in Ohio and drills good wells has done a number of these partition suits in WV and that company is Antero. Probably there are a number of others.