SCRANTON – Owners of oil and gas leases in the state are seeking a declaration regarding arbitration in a dispute over royalties.

Alan Marbaker, Carol Marbaker, Jerry L. Cavalier and Frank K. Holdren filed a complaint on Aug. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Statoil USA Onshore Properties Inc., formerly known as Statoilhydro USA Onshore Properties Inc., seeking declaratory judgment.

According to the complaint, on April 2, 2015, the plaintiffs filed an arbitration demand against the defendant regarding royalties on oil and gas leases assigned to the defendant by Chesapeake Appalachia LLC. The suit states the proceedings have been stayed since June 2015.

The plaintiffs seek "seek a declaration that class arbitration in accordance with the rules of the AAA (American Arbitration Association) is available under the arbitration clauses in plaintiffs’ leases, which were negotiated with the energy companies on a collective basis," the suit states.

The plaintiffs seek judgment against the defendant declaring that under clauses in the Marbaker leases, Cavalier lease and Holdren leases, class arbitration is available. They are represented by Ira Neil Richards and Arleigh P. Helfer III of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania case number 3:17-cv-01528-UN2

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