In Allegheny Enterprises, Inc. v. J-W Operating Company, a federal district court recently held that "as a general matter *** an oil and gas lessee must compensate the owner of an above-located coal estate for otherwise useful coal rendered inaccessible by oil and gas drilling." (M.D. of Pennsylvania, Mar. 5, 2014). Also, for those of you drafting transactional documents, the court further held that the assignment at issue - which purported to be "subject to" various "terms, conditions and covenants" of an exploration agreement - incorporated the terms of the exploration agreement into the assignment, including any subsequent modifications. Thus, termination of the exploration agreement terminated the parties' corresponding obligations under the assignment.
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