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Pennsylvania Decision Creates Uncertainty About Who Owns Shale Gas

By Erik M. Hume As many property owners throughout Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale counties have learned in recent years, ownership of the surface does not necessarily include ownership of what lies below. Title to the surface and subsurface can be "severed"; that is, owned by different parties...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reaffirms Dunham Rule

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland In a unanimous opinion ( Butler v. Charles Power Estate , No. 27 MAP 2012) by Justice Baer issued April 24, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed the Dunham Rule, holding that a reservation of minerals in a deed does not reserve the gas in...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Upholds the Continuing Vitality of the 177-Year-Old Dunham Rule

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld the continuing vitality of the 177 year old Dunham rule in Pennsylvania, reiterating that a rebuttable presumption arises in any private deed or land conveyance that natural gas is not a "mineral" unless it is expressly designated as such in the document...