Chartiers Block Coal Co. v. Mellon

25 A. 597 (1893)

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Chartiers Block Coal Co. v. Mellon

Pennsylvania Supreme Court
25 A. 597 (1893)

Facts

W. L. Mellon (defendant) owned the surface of a property, and the Chartiers Block Coal Company (Chartiers) (plaintiff) owned the coal beneath the surface. In the instrument conveying Chartiers the coal, Chartiers also obtained mining rights and the right to make ingress and egress for the purposes of obtaining the coal. There was no reservation for the grantor to go through the coal to obtain other minerals, such as oil or gas, probably because there was no evidence of any other valuable materials at the time of the conveyance. But oil and gas were later discovered. Operators then sought to obtain the gas and oil by digging through the coal. In response, Chartiers sought an injunction against further oil drilling, arguing that the oil drilling was threatening the safety of the coal operation and would decrease the value of the coal. The court largely denied the request as to already existing wells and largely allowed additional wells. The court, however, required the oil operators to make a deposit with the court and to exercise caution with respect to Chartiers’s coal rights as they continued drilling. Chartiers appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Paxson, C.J.)

Concurrence (Williams, J.)

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