Robert J. Burnett

Robert J. Burnett

Director 412-288-2221 VCard
Print

As Chair of the Firm’s Oil and Gas Practice Group, Robert’s practice is exclusively devoted to the representation of landowners and royalty owners in oil and gas matters throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Robert has extensive experience negotiating oil and gas leases for landowners and royalty owners. He also negotiates surface use agreements and pipeline right-of-way agreements. In addition, he advises and counsels clients on complex lease development and expiration issues, including the impact and effect of delay rental and shut-in clauses, as well as the implied covenants to develop and market oil and gas. Landowners and royalty owners throughout Pennsylvania also rely on Robert’s effective and efficient representation in disputes arising out of the calculation of production royalties and the deduction of post-production costs.  Robert also assists clients with oil and gas title issues, and helps develop strategies to resolve and cure such title deficiencies.

A prolific author and speaker on numerous oil and gas topics, Robert is a frequent lecturer at Pennsylvania Bar Institute oil and gas programs and currently serves on the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s “Oil and Gas Law Advisory Committee.” He is also a contributing author of The Law of Oil and Gas in Pennsylvania (1st Ed. 2014), published by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s premier oil and gas law program, the annual “Oil and Gas Law Colloquium.”

Robert has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners since 2012 and is an active member of its Legislative Committee. He also served on the “Siting and Routing” Workgroup of Governor Wolf’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force in 2015.

Robert is also a retired officer from the United States Army.

Claim Based on Covenant to Market Gas to Move Forward in Texas Class Action
11.2018

West Virginia Jury Finds That EQT Improperly Calculated Landowners’ Royalty on Shale Gas
10.2018

Pennsylvania Superior Court Rejects Rule of Capture in Subsurface Trespass Suit
04.2018

West Virginia Moves to Prohibit Drillers From Taking Deductions Which Reduce Net Royalty Below 12.5%
03.2018

Tenth Circuit Rules That Obligation to Pay Royalty on Fuel Gas Depends on Lease Language
02.2018

Ohio Supreme Court Declines to Recognize Implied Covenant of Further Exploration
01.2018

New Legislation May Allow Drillers to Revive Expired Oil and Gas Leases
11.2017

Federal District Court in Ohio Rules That Chesapeake Did Not Breach Lease When it Deducted Costs From Royalty
11.2017

West Virginia Jury Awards Damages to Surface Owner for Unauthorized Well Pad
09.2017

New Royalty Bill HB 1708 Will Not Help Pennsylvania Landowners
08.2107

Claim Based on Implied Covenant to Market Gas to Move Forward in Federal Royalty Litigation
07.2017

Non-Producing Oil and Gas Lease Deemed Abandoned by the Pennsylvania Superior Court
05.2017

Why the New Minimum Royalty Bill is Constitutional and Good for Pennsylvania
04.2017

Landowners Beware: Warranty Clause in Oil and Gas Lease Can Obligate Landowner to Repay Signing Bonus
03.2017

West Virginia Supreme Court to Reconsider Landmark Decision in Leggett v. EQT Production Company
02.2017

The Difference Between a “Royalty” and a “Royalty Interest” Can Be Confusing and Costly For Landowners
12.2016

West Virginia Supreme Court Declares that Minimum Royalty Statute Does Not Authorize the Deduction of Post-Production Costs
12.2016

Ohio Supreme Court Declines to Adopt Blanket “At the Well” Rule
11.2016

HB 1391: Putting Teeth Back in Pennsylvania’s Minimum Royalty Statute
08.2016

Pooling Clause Not Necessary: West Virginia Court Finds Implied Right to Pool Exists Where Lease Silent
05.2016

Driller Has No Obligation to Pay Royalty on Lost Gas
05.2016

Pennsylvania Landowners May Not Own Oil and Gas Rights Under Rivers and Streams
04.2016

Federal Court in Pittsburgh Questions Applicability of Kilmer Decision
03.2016

Ohio Supreme Court Observes That Driller Cannot Maintain Lease Indefinitely by Paying Delay Rentals
02.2016

Is the Implied Covenant of Reasonable Development Irrelevant?
PA Law Weekly | 10.20.15

Court Rules Severance Tax Does Not Increase Value Of Shale Gas, Therefore Not A Deductible Post-Production Cost
09.2015

Landowners May Face Difficult Burden Regarding Intermingled Gas
PA Law Weekly | 08.11.15

Legislation Revived to Protect Royalty Owners in Pennsylvania
06.24.15

A Possible Blueprint for Landowners Challenging Pipeline Companies
PA Law Weekly | 06.16.15

Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells – More Than Just a Rusty Eyesore
05.2015

Not All is Quiet on the Quiet Title Front
PA Law Weekly | 02.09.15

Good News for Landowners Means Bad News for Trespassers
PA Law Weekly | 12.16.14

PUC Decision Suggests Pipeline Operator Has Public Utility Status
PA Law Weekly | 10.28.14

Local Zoning Ordinances May Hinder Oil/Gas Development
10.2014

Pipeline Operators: Public Utility or Pipeline Futility
PA Law Weekly | 8.19.14

Superior Court Breathes New Life Into Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act
PA Law Weekly | 2.25.14

Failure to Tender Production Royalty Did Not Trigger Forfeiture Clause
PA Law Weekly | 12.31.13

The Status Quo Restored. The background of the decision that put the ‘Dunham Rule’ back in place.
The Pennsylvania Lawyer | September/October.2013

Is Pa. Becoming a First-Marketable-Product Jurisdiction?
PA Law Weekly | 10.15.13

Has Forced Pooling Come to Pennsylvania With SB 259?
PA Law Weekly | 08.13.13

Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules Driller had no Implied Obligation to Develop Deeper Formations
07.2013

Not Your Father’s Oil and Gas Lease
06.2013

Marcellus Shale Gas is Not a Mineral. What Does This Mean for Lease-holders?
04.2013

Can the Payment of a Shut-In Royalty Maintain an Oil/Gas Lease Indefinitely?
10.2012

Federal Court in Scranton Rules That Litigation Filed by Landowner Did Not “Repudiate” the Lease
08.2012

Federal Court Rules that Assignment of Oil/Gas Lease May Not Extinguish Liability of Original Lessee
08.2012

Federal Court in Pittsburgh Allows Lease Cancellation Suit to Move Forward
05.2012

Who’s Entitled to Free Gas?
01.2012

Preliminary Operations Not Enough To Extend Lease into Secondary Term
12.2011

Non-Production During Secondary Term Results in Termination of Lease
11.2011

Subsurface Trespass Can They Take the Gas Under My Property Without a Lease?
07.2011

Adverse Possession – Can Surface Owner Acquire Title to Gas Formations by Mere Passage of Time?
06.2011

The Accommodation Doctrine: Balancing the Interests of the Surface Owner and the Mineral Owner
04.2011

Temporary Cessation of Production: How much time does a producer have under Pennsylvania law?
03.2011

To Drill or Not to Drill – Does Pennsylvania Recognize an Implied Covenant of Further Exploration?
02.2011

See all articles related to Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale and oil and gas law>>

Post-Production Costs and Royalty Litigation in Pennsylvania
Town Hall Meeting
November 28, 2019 | Burgettstown, PA

Valuation of Oil and Gas Rights
October 16, 2018 | Bridgeville, PA

Minimum Royalty and Pennsylvania Legislative Update
Beaver-Lawrence County Farm Bureau Meeting
October 11, 2018 | New Castle, PA

Post-Production Costs and Royalty Litigation in Pennsylvania – An Update
Pennsylvania Bar Institute
August 16, 2018 | Pittsburgh, PA

Recent Trends in Pennsylvania Royalty Litigation
10th Annual Oil & Gas Law Colloquium – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
June 28-29, 2018 | Cranberry Township, PA

PA House Bill 557 and the Deduction of Post-Production Costs
PA NARO Town Hall Meeting
May 15, 2018 | Burgettstown, PA

Briggs:  Game-Changer for Subsurface Trespass Claims and Unconventional Drilling?
Pennsylvania Bar Institute Webinar
May 3, 2018

Held by Production:  When is a Lease Actually Held?
North Central Pennsylvania Realtors Association quarterly meeting
April 10, 2018 | Wellsboro, PA

The Myth of Held by Production: How and Why Leases can be Extended Without a Producing Well
PA NARO Annual Convention
March 21-23, 2018 | State College, PA

Residential Real Estate and the New OGM Addendum Form
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
March 13, 2018 | Butler, PA

Held by Production: When is a Lease Actually Held?
Town Hall Meeting
January 30, 2018 | Liberty, PA

The New Pennsylvania Association of Realtors’ Oil/Gas Forms:
What Real Estate Agents Need to Know
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
January 23, 2018 | Cranberry, PA

HB 557 and the Deduction Of Post-Production Costs
PA NARO Town Hall Meeting
December 11, 2017 | Claysville, PA

The New Pennsylvania Association of Realtors’ Oil/Gas Forms: What Real Estate Agents Need to Know
November 8, 2017 | Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Pittsburgh, PA

Municipal Leasing of Oil and Gas Rights
Washington County Association of Township Officials Annual Convention
October 5, 2017 | Washington, PA

PA Legislative Update: HB 557 and the Deduction Of Post-Production Costs
PA NARO Town Hall Meeting
October 2, 2017 | Burgettstown, PA

The New Pennsylvania Association of Realtors’ Oil/Gas Forms: What Real Estate Agents Need to Know
September 21, 2017 | Bethel Park, PA

PA House Bill 557 and the Deduction of Post-Production Costs
PA NARO Town Hall Meeting
May 15, 2017 | Burgettstown, PA

Equitable Distribution Of Oil, Gas And Mineral Rights
Allegheny County Bar Association Family Law Section
May 8, 2017 | Pittsburgh, PA

The Impact of Marcellus Shale on Residential Real Estate: What Real Estate Agents Need to Know
Butler County Realtors Association
April 20, 2017 | Bulter, PA

The Robinson Township Decision and a Heightened Standard of Care For Municipal Leasing
Greene County Association of Township Officials
April 10, 2017 | Waynesburg, PA

Will That Title Wash Keep Your Oil/Gas Title Clean? Status of PA Title Wash After Herder Springs and Cornwall Mountain
PA NARO Annual Convention
March 29 – 31 2017| State College, PA

Unique and Complicated Issues That Confront Realtors in Completing the OGM addendum
November 15, 2016 | North Central Pennsylvania Board of Realtors  | Wellsboro, PA
November 10, 2016 | Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Peters Township, PA
October 17, 2016 | Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Castle Shannon, PA

Municipal Ownership and Regulation of Oil & Gas – Are you Wearing Two Hats?
Allegheny County and Western Pennsylvania Association of Township Commissioners Annual Conference
September 17, 2016 | Seven Springs, PA

HB 1391
PA NARO Town Hall Meeting
September 13, 2016 | Washington, PA

The Impact of Marcellus Shale on Residential Real Estate: What Real Estate Agents Need to Know
August 24, 2016 | Bethel Park, PA

Oil and Gas Title Law A-Z
National Business Institute
June 15, 2016 | Pittsburgh, PA

Shale Energy Leadership Organization Summit II
April 28, 2016 | Hermitage, PA

Streams, Roads and Railroads: Who Owns the Oil and Gas Rights Anyway?
2016 PA NARO Annual Convention
March 30 – April 1, 2016 | State College, PA

Ultimate Guide to Oil and Gas Title Law
National Business Institute
December 9 – 10, 2015 | Mechanicsburg, PA

Hydraulic Fracturing, Horizontal Drilling and the Modern Oil Lease
Hydraulic Fracturing, Horizontal Drilling and Development of the Marcellus Shale – The Seminar Group
November 18, 2015 | Pittsburgh, PA

Current Litigation Issues Concerning Post-Production Costs
2015 National Association of Royalty Owners 35th Anniversary National Convention
October 15 – 17, 2015 | Las Vegas, NV

Bad Faith Pooling
7th Annual Oil and Gas Law Colloquium – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
September 24 – 25, 2015 | Pittsburgh, PA

Property Rights: Lessor/Lessee Disputes
Hydraulic Fracturing Disputes and Litigation – Half Moon Seminars
August 28, 2015 | Pittsburgh, PA

Emerging Issues in PA Oil/Gas Law: Act 66/Forced Pooling, Post Production Costs, Sabella Decision
PA NARO Town Hall Meeting
May 27, 2015 | Washington, PA

Marcellus Shale: Where are we now?
California University of Pennsylvania
April 16, 2015 | Cal U Center for Innovation

Oil and Gas Law Update: Recent Decisions Impacting Oil and Gas Practice
Pennsylvania Bar Institute
April 2, 2015 | Live Webinar

2015 PA NARO Annual Convention
“Facing the Challenges”
March 26-27 | State College, PA

The Attorney’s Guide to the Oil and Gas Lease – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
February 10, 2015 | Mechanicsburg, PA
February 26, 2015 | Pittsburgh, PA

Fuel Yourself with Knowledge – PA NARO
January 24, 2015 | West Middlesex, PA

Marcellus Shale for Landowners’ Representatives
California University of Pennsylvania
December 12, 2014 | Cal U Center for Innovation

West Coast Landman’s Institute
“Oil and Gas Leases in the Era of Horizontal Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing”
October 22 – 24, 2014 | Las Vegas, NV

Texas Land Institute
“Oil and Gas Leases in the Era of Horizontal Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing”
September 22, 2014 | Houston, TX

YPE Energy Training Series
Gas Lease Termination Issues
June 5, 2014 | Washington, PA

Pennsylvania Association of Realtors Shale Gas Summit
“Emerging Issues in Pennsylvania Oil & Gas”
April 24 – 25, 2014 | Pittburgh, PA

The David Madiera Show on 94.3 FM “The Talker”
Interview regarding HB 1684
March 8, 2014 | State College, PA

2014 NARO PA Convention
“Lease Expiration and Termination Issues”
March 27-28, 2014 | State College, PA

3rd Annual Hydraulic Fracking Conference – The Seminar Group
“Hydraulic Fracturing Issues in Oil & Gas Leases”
February 27 – 28, 2014 | Santa Barbara, CA

Best of the Oil and Gas Law Colloquium – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Leasing and Lease Extensions”
January 23, 2014 | Pittsburgh, PA

2013 NARO National Convention
“Mineral Leasing, Surface Use ‘Watch the Fine Print'”
October 31 – November 2, 2013 | Columbus, OH

Allegheny Chapter CPCU Society All Industry Day
“Emerging Issues in PA Oil/Gas Law”
October 16, 2013 | Pittsburgh, PA

2nd Annual AAPL Appalachian Land Institute
“Oil & Gas Leases in Era of Horizontal Drilling”
October 3-4, 2013 | Morgantown, WV

The MoneyLine Show with Host George Dukovich on 104.7 FM
“Senate Bill 259”
September 21, 2013 | Pittsburgh, PA

5th Annual Oil and Gas Law Colloquium – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Leasing and Lease Extensions”
September 17-18, 2013 | State College, PA

Radio Smart Talk with Host Scott Lamar on WITF Radio 89.5 and 93.3 FM
“Senate Bill 259”
July 15, 2013 | Pittsburgh, PA

PA Gas Expo 2013
“We Know the Drill”
June 26, 2013 | Indiana, PA

4th Law of Shale Plays Conference
“Oil & Gas Leases in Era of Horizontal Drilling”
June 6-7, 2013 | Fort Worth, TX

2013 NARO PA Convention
“The Implied Covenant to Market Gas vs. The Shut-In Royalty Clause: How Long Can the Well Be Shut-In?”
March 28-29, 2013 | State College, PA

Best of the Oil and Gas Law Colloquium – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Implied Covenants”
January 29, 2013 | Pittsburgh,PA

PBA Family Law Section-Winter Meeting 2013 – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Marcellus Shale: Practical and Complex Tips for the Family Law Dealing with Mineral Rights”
January 18-20, 2013 | Pittsburgh, PA

The MoneyLine Show with Host George Dukovich on 104.7 FM
“Emerging Oil/Gas Issues”
October 28, 2012 | Pittsburgh, PA

The Marcellus Shale Seminar Series
“Emerging Issues in PA Oil/Gas Law”
October 10, 2012 | Greensburg, PA

4th Annual Oil and Gas Law Colloquium – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Implied Covenants”
September 11-12, 2012 | State College, PA

2012 PA Gas Expo
“We Know the Drill: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know” and “Issues Related to Newly Enacted Act 13”
July 25, 2012 | Indiana, PA

Emerging Issues in PA Oil/Gas Law
July 19, 2012 | Grove City, PA

The “Morning Show” with PJ Maloney on KQV Radio 1410 AM
“Oil/Gas Lease Termination Issues”
June 27, 2012 | Pittsburgh, PA

Northeast Pennsylvania Board of Realtors (Tioga County)
“Emerging Issues in Pennsylvania Oil/Gas Law”
June 21, 2012 – Wellsboro, PA

Blossburg Landowners Meeting
“Lease Termination Issues”
June 7, 2012 | Blossburg, PA

Gas Leases and Estate Planning Techniques to Protect the Future of Your Client’s Mineral Rights – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Conveyance and Interpretive Matters Involving Estates & Trusts”
May 9, 2012 | Pittsburgh, PA

The MoneyLine Show with Host George Dukovich on KQV Radio 1410 AM
“Recent and Emerging Oil/Gas Issues”
April 21, 2012 | Pittsburgh, PA

2012 NARO PA Convention
“Implied Covenants Under Pennsylvania Law”
March 23, 2012 | State College, PA

Fundamentals of Oil/Gas Law – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Basics of Oil/Gas Leasing”
March 14, 2012 | Pittsburgh, PA
March 9, 2012 | Mechanicsburg, PA

Best of the Oil and Gas Law Colloquium – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Implied Covenants”
January 18, 2012 | Pittsburgh, PA

3rd Annual Oil and Gas Law Colloquium – Pennsylvania Bar Institute
“Implied Covenants”
September 21, 2011 | Pittsburgh, PA

  • Representation of school district in negotiating non-surface access oil/gas lease.
  • Representation of Fortune 500 company in connection with title dispute arising out of ownership of oil/gas estate.
  • Representation of family limited partnership in negotiating oil/gas lease with parcel in excess of 1,500 acres.
  • Representation of landowner in litigation with contaminated water supply caused by nearby drilling operations.
  • Representation of landowner in pipeline eminent domain action arising under the Natural Gas Act.
  • Representation of mineral owners in quiet title action against a surface owner claiming title to hydrocarbons through adverse possession.
  • Representation of landowner with 1400 acres in dispute with gas operator regarding bad faith pooling.
  • Representation of landowner in connection with water contamination claims caused by adjacent drilling operations.
  • Representation of an equipment supply company in a dispute with a gas operator regarding surface access rights.
  • Representation of a landowner who faced mine subsidence, contaminated water and other environmental concerns and successfully negotiated a revised lease with the gas company and the coal company.
  • Representation of landowner with 4,000+ acres in dispute with gas operator regarding lease expiration.
  • Representation of landowner in lease litigation regarding the proper application of shut-in royalty clause and other lease-saving mechanisms.
  • Representation of landowner with 4,000+ acres in dispute regarding the application of the gas storage clause and the ability to hold lease beyond primary term.
  • Representation of landowner in dispute with gas operator regarding a sub-surface trespass occasioned by horizontal drilling.