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Shedden v. Anadarko E&P Co., L.P.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 14, 2014

LEO AND SANDRA L. SHEDDEN, Appellants
v.
ANADARKO E& P COMPANY, L.P., Appellee

Submitted: November 18, 2013.

Page 229

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Tioga County, Civil Division, No. 876-CV-2011. Before DALTON, J.

David J. Brann, Troy, for appellants.

Andrea E. Hammel, W. Conshohocken, for appellee.

Before: DONOHUE, SHOGAN and MUSMANNO, JJ.

OPINION

Page 230

MUSMANNO, J.:

Leo and Sandra L. Shedden (collectively " the Sheddens" or " Plaintiffs" ) appeal from the Order entering summary judgment against them and in favor of Anadarko E& P Company, L.P. (" Anadarko" or " Defendant" ). We affirm.

The trial court set forth the relevant facts and procedural history underlying this appeal as follows:

On May 23, 2006, Plaintiffs leased to Defendant the oil and gas rights underlying Plaintiffs' 62[-]acre parcel of real estate[, located in Tioga County (sometimes referred to as " the premises" ),] for a term of five years.[1] Following execution of the [L]ease, Defendant sent Plaintiffs a Lease Purchase Report and an Order of Payment reflecting a bonus payment due Plaintiffs for $80[.00] per acre on 62 acres, or $4,960.00. Subsequently, Brian Hale, the land agent who negotiated the terms of the [L]ease on behalf of Defendant, notified Plaintiffs that he had discovered that Ezra and Emma Baxter [" the Baxters" ] had reserved one-half of the subject oil and gas rights pursuant to a February 21, 1894 deed. Brian Hale explained to Plaintiffs that Defendant would only pay Plaintiffs a bonus payment for 31 acres rather than for 62 acres. As a consequence, Defendant sent Plaintiffs a bonus payment of $2,480.00 [hereinafter " the Bonus Payment" ,] which constituted $80.00 per acre for 31 acres.
Two years later, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Quiet Title on the [Baxters'] previously reserved interest in the subject oil and gas rights. On July 30, 2008, [the trial] court granted Plaintiffs' Motion and ordered that Plaintiffs [are the] owners in fee simple of all the oil and gas rights associated with their 62[-]acre parcel.
On March 31, 2011, [pursuant to a provision contained in the Lease affording Defendant an option to extend the Lease,] Defendant sent Plaintiffs a check in the amount of $4,340.00[,] representing an extension payment of $70.00 per acre for 62 acres for an additional term of five years [(hereinafter referred to as the " Lease Extension" )]. Plaintiffs, however, have not cashed the check because, in their belief, it amounts to an overpayment of $2,170.00.
On October 21, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a [C]omplaint seeking a judgment declaring that the [] [L]ease only pertains to oil and gas contained on 31 acres of Plaintiffs' land. Defendant, who has not alleged any dispute in the facts, filed a Motion for Summary Judgment arguing that Plaintiffs are estopped by their contractual promises[,] and by the doctrine of estoppel by ...

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