Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of McKean County, Oct. T., 1963, No. 2, in case of Minard Run Oil Company v. Pennzoil Company and National Transit Company.
William P. McVay, with him McVay and McVay, for appellant.
Murray R. Garber, with him F. Earle Magee, and Breene, Frame and Magee, for appellees.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Musmanno.
In 1929 the Minard Run Oil Company, owner of a 6500 acre tract of land in McKean County, sold to the
Tide Water Pipe Co., Ltd. an easement through its property for the laying, operating and maintenance of a 6 inch pipeline for the purpose of transporting petroleum. The defendant Pennzoil Company is the present owner of the easement and the defendant National Transit Company is its lessee.
At the time of the sale of the easement rights a road on the plaintiff's property crossed over the defendant's pipeline at two different places. Because of an increase in its timber business, the plaintiff desires to extend that road so that it will cross the defendant's pipeline at still another place. In addition, because of the nature of the terrain, it will be necessary to sink the pipeline at a greater subterranean depth so that it may not be damaged by surface traffic. The plaintiff asked the defendants to do this and the defendants understandably refused because the cost of the requested operation would be considerable.
The plaintiff then filed a suit in equity to compel the defendants to do its bidding. The defendants filed preliminary objections which were dismissed and then they filed an answer and counterclaim asking the court to enjoin the plaintiff from constructing another road crossing and further to enjoin it from moving heavy equipment over the pipeline.
The chancellor ordered the defendants to submit to the sinking of their pipeline to accommodate the needs of the plaintiff's road, but placed the costs of that operation on the plaintiff, which has appealed.
The decision of the court below answered every requirement of the law and represented justice and fairness -- the true delectable fruits to be found in the orchard of equity. When the plaintiff sold the pipeline easement to the defendants it did not surrender its rights to the enjoyment of the rest of its property. Section 486 of the ...