Chesapeake Energy Corp. is willing to pay Pennsylvania landowners $30 million to settle lawsuits over disputed gas-royalty payments, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, the deal is contingent on state Attorney General Josh Shapiro resolving a 2015 lawsuit filed by the state against the shale-gas producer over deductions from royalties.
Last month, Chesapeake’s lawyers told a judge in Scranton they had reached a deal to settle several longstanding class-action suits involving royalties. The proposed settlement calls for payments to 14,000 Chesapeake natural gas leaseholders, and it allows them to “reset” their leases to clarify the terms under which they are paid royalties.
Although it has agreed to terms on its side of the settlement, Chesapeake won’t go forward with the deal unless it also resolves a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania in 2015 by former state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane that alleged Chesapeake cheated landowners by making large deductions from their royalty payments.