How old 'other coal' deed or lease clauses sanction Appalachian horizontal drilling

Jeffery D. Ubersax Jones Day Cleveland Mineral rights in the Appalachian basin are often governed by deeds or leases that were recorded decades, even a half century or longer ago. The courts are increasingly being asked to determine whether these old deeds permit the use of modern methods to extract minerals—in particular, hydraulic fracturing ("fracing") to extract natural gas and oil. An essential part of fracing as practiced today is horizontal drilling. The operator drills thousands of feet vertically to the Utica or Marcellus shale formation and then thousands of feet horizontally within the formation. A single well pad can support multiple bores that are drilled in this fa...

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