Pa. high court takes up shale gas leases dispute - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Pa. high court takes up shale gas leases dispute

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's high court will take a case that's raising questions about whether leases to countless properties signed by the booming natural gas industry should be interpreted to include the methane locked in the vast Marcellus Shale formation.

The state Supreme Court said Tuesday that it'll hear a Susquehanna County dispute over the definition of "mineral rights."

A decision that says mineral rights don't include the shale gas could upend many the leases between property owners and the Marcellus Shale industry.

The case stems from a dispute between John and Mary Josephine Butler and a man named Charles Powers and his heirs.

The Butlers' appeal asks the Supreme Court to rule that 130-year-old case law applies to the Marcellus Shale. A lower court panel last year said it couldn't be certain.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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