Patrick D. Leggett, et al. v. EQT Production Company, et al.
The United States District Court for the Northern District Court of West Virginia certified the following questions to this Court:
1. Does Tawney v. Columbia Natural Resources, LLC, 219 W.Va. 266, 633 S.E.2d 22 (2006), which was decided after the enactment of West Virginia Code § 22-6-8, have any effect upon the Court’s decision as to whether a lessee of flat-rate lease, converted pursuant to West Virginia Code § 22-6-8, may deduct post-production expenses from his lessor’s royalty, particularly with respect to the language of “1/8 at the wellhead” found in West Virginia Code § 22-6-8?
2. Does West Virginia Code § 22-6-8 prohibit flat-rate royalties only for wells drilled or reworked after the statute’s enactment and modify only royalties paid on a per-well basis where permits for new wells or to modify existing wells are sought, or do the provisions of West Virginia Code § 22-6-8 abrogate flat-rate leases in their entirety?