Appalachian Land Co. v. EQT Prod. Co.Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was the apportionment of natural gas severance taxes for purposes of calculating royalties when a producer-lessee severs natural gas from the earth. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question to the Kentucky Supreme Court asking whether Kentucky’s at-the-well rule allows a natural gas processor to deduct all severance taxes paid at market prior to calculating a contractual royalty payment to a royalty owner-lessor based on the market price of gas at the well or whether the resource’s at-the-well price includes a proportionate share of the severance taxes owed such that a processor may deduct only that portion of the severance taxes attributable to accumulating, compressing, processing, and transporting the gas prior to calculating the appropriate royalty payment. The Supreme Court rejected the two options presented and concluded that, in the absence of a specific lease provision apportioning severance taxes, lessees may not deduct severance taxes or any portion thereof prior to calculating a royalty value.