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T. W. PHILLIPS GAS AND OIL COMPANY v. KOMAR (03/14/67)

decided: March 14, 1967.

T. W. PHILLIPS GAS AND OIL COMPANY
v.
KOMAR, APPELLANT



Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Indiana County, Dec. T., 1965, No. 1, in case of T. W. Phillips Gas and Oil Company v. Anna Komar and Michael F. Komar.

COUNSEL

Robert C. Earley, for appellants.

John L. Wilson, with him William T. Pierce, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Roberts concurs in the result.

Author: O'brien

[ 424 Pa. Page 323]

This is an appeal by defendants, Anna Komar and Michael F. Komar, from a final decree in equity, enjoining them from interfering with the plaintiff's use of a gas well on appellants' property. Appellants' predecessor in title granted the appellee an oil and gas lease covering the tract of land now owned by the appellants. The lease was granted on February 28, 1933, and recorded in Indiana County. The primary term

[ 424 Pa. Page 324]

    of the lease was for a period of 20 years. The appellees commenced drilling a well on August 23, 1948, and completed it on January 15, 1949, resulting in the production of a gas well in paying quantity.

The well was not put into production in the plaintiff's gas distribution system. It was capped, pending the time when pipelines would be laid in the vicinity of the well, and at a time the company required the gas from the well.

The material facts in this controversy are not in dispute. The dispute concerns the interpretation of the lease agreement. The pertinent provision providing that: "In consideration of the above demise, said second party (i.e., lessee) agrees to deliver, in pipe line unto said first party (i.e., lessors) 1/8 part of the oil produced and saved from the premises.

"Should any well not produce oil, but produce gas in paying quantities, and the gas therefrom be sold off the said premises, the consideration to the said first party (i.e., lessors) for the gas from each well from which gas is marketed shall be as follows:

"At the rate of $200 per year while the well shows a pressure of 200 or more lbs., per square inch, upon being shut in 5 minutes in 2 inch pipe or 30 minutes in larger pipe; at the rate of $100 per year, while the well shows a pressure of 100 or more lbs., per square inch, and less than 200 lbs., per square inch upon being shut in 5 minutes in 2 inch pipe, or 30 minutes in larger pipe; at the rate of $50 per year while the well shows a pressure of less than 100 lbs., per square inch, upon being shut in 5 minutes in 2 inch pipe or 30 minutes in larger pipe; to be paid quarterly from completion to abandonment of well.

"While gas is being sold off these premises, providing the gas pressure is high enough, first party, i.e. (lessors) may have gas free of costs for domestic purposes in ...


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