SALEM, Ohio — A Carroll County dairy farmer has won an injunction against Chesapeake Exploration to stop them from drilling on his property.
The injunction was filed June 29.
Robert, Carolyn, James L. and Bruce R. Starkey, all of Mechanicstown, filed the initial $1 million lawsuit June 11 against Patriot Energy, Buckeye Oil Products, Bass Energy and Chesapeake Exploration.
Although Chesapeake Exploration is not allowed to begin the drilling process, an agreement was reached on both sides.
According to the judgment entry filed, Chesapeake Exploration is permitted to complete its construction of the well pad on the Starkey property.
The agreement allows Chesapeake to finish the dirt work on and around the well pad. It also allows Chesapeake Exploration to prepare a road around the pad to allow the Starkeys to navigate farm equipment around the pad. Chesapeake is also allowed to install fencing on and around the well pad.
Chesapeake is also allowed to maintain and repair pad site items as necessary. However, they are not allowed to use saline brine on the road for paving or maintenance, according to the judgment order.
In addition, the court ruled that Chesapeake has agreed to not contact the Starkeys either in person or in writing about changing the unit size until the litigation in the case is decided.
The Starkeys stated in the original lawsuit that Chesapeake has been threatening them with large daily monetary fines if they did not sign an amendment and ratification to increase the drilling unit size to 1,280 acres.
The Starkeys are accusing Chesapeake of using a lease that is not valid and breach of contract.
The Starkeys signed a lease with Patriot Energy Partners in 2008. The lease was then sold to Buckeye Energy, Bass Energy, Wimsatt Family, LLC. and Sonata Investment Company.
The lawsuit also lists PEP Leasing LLC, of Lisbon; Andrew W. Blocksom, of Lisbon; Thomas R. Blocksom, of Columbiana; and Robert Dickey, of Lisbon. (They are listed as being part of Patriot Energy Partners and PEP.)
The lease was then sold to Chesapeake Exploration, LLC. for approximately $1,100 per acre and was given the “deep rights.”
In addition, court documents filed with the Carroll and Columbiana county recorders show that Patriot retains an overriding 4 percent royalty interest on all wells and leases they originally leased.
The lawsuit contends the lease was invalid because the leases were notarized by Andrew Blocksom, Thomas Blocksom and Robert Dickey despite each of them having an economic interest in the lease.