The Marburger and Thiele families of Butler county, along with more than 1,100 other natural gas lease holders, will soon get their shares of an $11 million settlement with XTO Energy.
A settlement in the class-action lawsuit was approved by a judge in March after almost three years in federal court.
Attorneys with Pittsburgh-based law firm Jones, Gregg, Creehan and Gerace filed the complaint in 2015 on behalf of Richard P. Marburger as trustee of the Olive M. Marburger Living Trust and the Thiele Family.
The complaint alleged that XTO had committed a breach of contract by deducting operating expenses from royalty payments to landowners, who had originally entered into contracts leasing their mineral rights to Phillips Production around 2007. Phillips was then acquired by Exxon Mobil in 2011 and XTO Energy took over local drilling operations.
The attorneys will get 33 percent of the settlement and the 1,135 members of the class will each get a minimum of $500 with the rest of the money being divided based on “proportionate share of post production,” according to court records.
Affected landowners were notified of the settlement late last year were given the chance to opt out.
A full story will appear in the Butler Eagle.