A federal judge has given final approval to the settlement of a natural gas royalty civil suit against EQT, which will cost the U.S.’s largest dry gas producer $53.5 million, Kallanish Energy learns.
A delay in issuing the final order appears to have caused a problem concerning the conclusion of a related suit EQT brought against the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
The class action royalty suit is called Kay and began in 2013. It is in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, before Judge John P. Bailey.
EQT brought its suit, sitting before a different judge in the same district, against the state in 2018 in response to legislation sparked by EQT’s actions described in the Kay suit and by state Supreme Court action in a third royalty suit, called Leggett, the Morgantown Dominion Post newspaper reported.
In Kay, plaintiffs alleged EQT and its midstream and downstream subsidiaries wrongly deducted post-production expenses and severance taxes from their royalty checks, and did not report the sale of natural gas liquids.
According to the settlement, all royalty owners in the class will receive a minimum of $200; those receiving more than the minimum will receive a proportionate share of the pool based on the deductions from their leases. They will give up their right to sue individually for the same claims.
Those who opt out get no money but retain the right to sue for the same claims.
Under the agreement, EQT will no longer take deductions from the royalties of the first two subclasses. The agreement sets a specific deduction rate for the third subclass.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.