Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,600+ case briefs...

Continental Resources of Illinois, Inc. v. Illinois Methane, LLC

Appellate Court of Illinois
847 N.E.2d 897 (2006)


Continental Resources of Illinois, Inc. (Continental) (plaintiff) leased the right to drill for oil and gas on a piece of coal-mining property. The coal-mining process had left behind coalbed methane gas. This gas was in existing coal veins and trapped in voids left underground by the coal-mining process. Continental’s leases specifically denied Continental the right to produce coalbed methane from a coal seam or a void. Oil and gas leases traditionally do not permit the mining of coalbed methane gas because it could interfere with the coal-mining safety and operations. Illinois Methane, LLC (Illinois Methane) (defendant) was collecting coalbed methane gas that originated from the land under Continental’s oil and gas leases, using wells that were not on the leased property. Continental sued Illinois Methane, alleging that Continental’s oil and gas leases gave Continental the exclusive right to collect this coalbed methane gas. Recognizing that the rule of capture means a party has to capture and possess natural gas to own the gas, Continental claimed it possessed, and therefore owned, the gas trapped in the mine voids or reservoirs below its leases. The lower court dismissed Continental’s complaint. The lower court held that Continental did not have any right to the coalbed methane under the conventional oil and gas leases, and, under the rule of capture, Illinois Methane’s drainage of the coalbed methane gas was not illegal. Continental appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Donovan, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 275,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,600 briefs, keyed to 196 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.