Our region has seen an explosion in exploration and development of Coal Bed Methane (CBM). Property owners frequently find themselves in conflict with the gas companies over basic issues like right of ways, pipeline locations, lease terms, and even who owns the CBM. The 1990 Gas Act created a complex framework for gas owners to navigate in establishing their ownership of the CBM, and right to recover past and future royalties. At present there is over $25 million dollars being held in escrow for gas owners until they have their ownership established by agreement, or court order.
The boom in CBM production can be a positive dynamic only if the rightful owners are permitted to profit. Between complex regulations and coal owners who frequently will fight to the bitter end, many gas owners are left out in the cold, empty handed, and ignored. Most attorneys in the area who have a background in mineral law got it representing coal or gas companies.
For the past two years I have been working with gas owners in establishing their ownership of CBM, and working for the release of money they have may have escrowed with the Virginia Oil and Gas Board. My services require no money to be paid up front, but is based on a percentage recovered. That percentage depends upon each case and takes into consideration the difficulty in proving ownership and the amount held in escrow.
I am proud to provide aggressive representation for gas and property owners against the coal and gas companies, whether it is property damage claims, lease negotiations, or right of way disputes.