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Residents gather in learning how to stay on top of royalties

The no-obligation session focused on landowners receiving what they deserve after they enter into a leasing agreement with an oil and gas company on their property.

For many residents in the Ohio Valley, land leasing and royalty checks are a normal part of life, but is everyone getting the money that they signed up for?

One woman told NEWS9 that although she receives royalty checks for oil and gas leasing, they fluctuate, and she doesn't know if she is receiving as much money as she signed up for. She and many others gathered Thursday to learn what they can do to stay on top of their royalties.

That was the hot topic Thursday night at Union Local Middle School as attorneys from the law firm Emens and Wolper held a presentation for the public.

The no-obligation session focused on landowners receiving what they deserve after they enter into a leasing agreement with an oil and gas company on their property.

"Sometimes oil and gas companies take deductions that may not be totally warranted,” said Dick Emens of Emens and Wolper Law Firm. “Our purpose is to provide education and help provide what they are entitled to."

Not all who came out expressed concerns with royalty payments.

In fact, several people said they just came to learn more, after receiving a notice in the mail about the meeting.

One Belmont County resident said so far, leasing has gone well.

"Most people are pleased right now with where they are in this stage,” said Bethesda resident Larry Cain. “We had leasing several years ago, and probably a fair amount of those people are receiving royalties now. The wells are quite large and the royalties are significant."

Others said there have been a few issues with receiving royalties, and some people are currently in litigation with oil and gas companies.

The presenters stressed how crucial it is to review your royalties frequently, and understand everything before you sign up.

"It just underlies the importance of making sure that they are negotiating those leases and getting as landowner-friendly language as they possibly can,” said Heidi Kemp of Emens and Wolper Law Firm.

"The magnitude of this oil and gas lease, and the royalties that follow, I think that you need to educate yourself prior to signing any document that will permit them to drill on your property,” Cain said.

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