Prosecutor eyes gas royalty checks

An application for an oil and gas drill site in Frankling Township, Ohio was received.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is reviewing whether her office has jurisdiction to look into complaints about the costs deducted by natural gas exploration giant Chesapeake Energy before it pays landowner royalties.

A Kane spokesman said Saturday the office was undertaking the review at the request of state Sen. Gene Yaw.

Yaw’s northern Pennsylvania district includes heavily drilled areas of the Marcellus Shale reservoir.

Yaw wrote Thursday to Kane and asked for an immediate inquiry. He says his office has been inundated with complaints primarily involving the deduction of post-production costs by the Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy.

He says the deductions sometimes exceed the amount of the royalty check and that one landowner complained it was costing them money to have gas extracted from their property.

Chesapeake Energy isn’t commenting.

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