Summons Wetzel County Ascent Resources vs 73.13% who refused to sign their low ball offer.

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.

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Your situation brings up a good discussion.

The better the company's reputation, the more likely they are to try to get it settled with you before resorting to a partition.  Not to say they won't do it, but word gets around, and that type of action doesn't really sit well with the locals/mineral owners, and they know it.  If you are dealing with a more reputable and supposedly "landowner-friendly" operator, try to work with them, as they are probably aware that their reputation is at stake and may be more willing to compromise.  Believe it or not, from what I've seen, most companies would rather have a good reputation, if they can maintain it without losing or spending an inordinate amount of money.  Though, since you have received notice in the mail, you are probably past the point of trying to work with them.

That said, things are rough in the o&g industry these days... don't know how much they would be willing to "give up" to the landowners in form of royalty percent and/or signing bonus.  You have to remember, it's not 2013 anymore.  Profits are low and/or nonexistent with some wells, and they need to squeeze out every dollar they can get.  This is just the reality.  Not trying to say that you shouldn't go for every dollar you can get.  Best of luck.

Thanks everyone for your input. I'm going to try and contact these distant relatives and hopefully there is strength in numbers. A lawyer would be prudent.

I am posting  so that others can learn too along with me. 

It appears that Ascent Resources bought the mineral rights from at least 9 people.

In the packet I received are copies of 9 QUITCLAIM DEEDs to Ascent Resources, and on the list with the names and fractional interest it states: ARM (purchased from and the name of the person)

for $500-interest 1/80,

$250-interest 7/4560, 

$250-interest 7/4560,

$200-interest 1/1824,

$200-interest 1/1824,

$200- interest 7/3040,

$200- interest 7/3040,

$200- interest 7/3040,

$250-interest 1/380.

Sylvia, thank you for sharing this.  I chose not to sell part of my mineral because I was worried that something like this could happen. I agree that your only chance is to stick together.  Could luck and please let us know how it turns out.

Best Philip

I did not know that something like this could happen. It was never disclosed to me that the mineral rights would be taken away if the contract was not signed.  I had no clue, no warning.  It seems so unethical.  I feel raped by the state for allowing such a thing to occur and by Ascent Resources.

This is a bad situation, for sure, but they are not going to be just taken away unless you let them.  Talk to an attorney.  A knowledgable attorney can give you better advice than anyone on here.

http://www.wvsoro.org/newsletters/2015/summer.pdf

On page 5, They talk about partition suits. Ascent Resources bought those 9 deeds. 

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