Oil and Gas Law
O'Brien Law handles all matters related to your oil and gas rights including leasing, pipelines, buying or selling natural gas rights, and estate planning. O'Brien Law only represents landowners, not the gas or pipeline company.
The breadth and depth of our experience in Pennsylvania oil and gas related matters is significant. The firm currently represents hundreds of oil and gas landowners and we would be proud to represent you. Examples of a few of the most common oil and gas related matters we regularly handle include:
Oil and Gas Lease Review and Negotiation
We have reviewed and negotiated hundreds of oil and gas leases in the area of the Marcellus Shale. We assist our clients in negotiating the most favorable lease for their property, with terms that are fair and take into consideration each unique client’s needs. When practical, we also are capable of representing landowner groups in lease negotiations as well.
Pipeline Right of Ways
Natural gas can only move through pipelines. This requires many landowners along pipeline routes to sign pipeline right of way agreements allowing the location and construction of gathering and transmission pipelines. Granting a pipeline on your property can have lasting consequences as the pipeline is almost always in the ground forever after its initial construction. You should carefully consider allowing a pipeline easement on your property and prior to signing anything, you should always engage legal counsel to help you review and negotiate this type of document.
Family Limited Liability Companies
In some situations forming a family limited liability company to own your real property rights can provide you and your family with significant tax, estate and liability benefits. This type of entity is not right in every situation. O’Brien Law is experienced with helping families determine if a family limited liability company is right for your situation and if it is, we can assist with all of the necessary formation and property transfer documents required to put this legal structure in place.
Purchase and Sale of Oil and Gas Rights
O’Brien Law is experienced in assisting oil and gas owners in all aspects of both buying and selling oil and gas rights. The full scope of a transaction can include any number of complex factors, including:
- Valuing your interest
- Assisting with the marketing of your property
- Review and assessment of purchase offers
- Preparation of the purchase and sale agreement.
- Pre-closing due diligence investigation to verify title, the existence of contracts and agreements affecting or relating to the property
- Issuance of a title opinions and/or the issuance of title insurance, when available
- Facilitate a smooth closing process
- Post-closing matters
Property Drilling and Development Assessment
There is a lot of talk about where drilling permits have been issued and where the newest gas well is being drilled. However, you may wonder if any of this activity is anywhere near your property. O’Brien Law has access to a vast amount of data and can provide you with maps of nearby drilling wells and permits, production information for wells drilled nearby, copies of drilling plats, and we can research the land records for your property to determine if your lease has been assigned to a new company or if your property has been placed in a drilling unit.
Mineral Management Services for Royalty Owners
Oil and gas rights owners face a range of issues once they start receiving royalty checks, particularly determining if you are being paid properly. O’Brien Law is equipped to handle all of your mineral management needs.
Oil and Gas Title Searches and Title Opinions
The title policy that you received when you purchased your property likely does not insure that you own the oil and gas rights underlying your property. It is not uncommon to find that oil and gas rights were severed from the surface rights of the property more than 100 + years ago. In order to determine if you own the oil and gas rights underlying your property, an extensive search of the land records must be made which can span more than 150 years in some cases. O’Brien Law has extensive experience in conducting and reviewing oil and gas title search documents and can issue a title opinion providing you with the information you need to determine ownership of certain property interests. This type of an opinion is virtually a necessity if you are purchasing an oil and gas property.
We represent clients with a variety of energy related issues from landowners negotiating wind turbine leases to companies developing alternative energy sources. We can assist clients with virtually any energy related situation.
Wind Farm Lease Review and Negotiation
We represent clients in negotiating and monitoring wind turbine leases. As alternative energy sources become more popular, wind is becoming a valuable renewable resource that large national and international companies are trying to harness. Landowners should not be at a disadvantage because they do not have experienced legal counsel on their side. O’Brien Law is here to assist you if you are approached about entering into any alternative energy arrangement including a wind turbine lease.