Quite some verdict
Another article in this week's Morgan Messenger reports on a huge lawsuit in Roane County. The jury brought back a $404 million verdict against several natural gas companies. The class action suit claimed that the companies had shortchanged land owners on their gas royalties. The judge and jury agreed.
We reprinted the story because it is important statewide and because a number of local property owners are interested in the natural gas business, having been approached about gas leases in the past year. The lawsuit should be a warning that you need to go into this business with your eyes wide open.
For what it's worth, we're told by some in gas-producing areas that a landowner doesn't have to stick with the standard gas and oil lease, but can negotiate their own.
We're not aware of any producing gas well being drilled in Morgan County, though at least one test well was drilled in the Doe Gully area along the Potomac in the early 1980s. In that case, it was said that the well was useless because they hit river water first. If anyone knows of a successful well hereabouts, we'd certainly like to hear about it.