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Noble Energy seeks preliminary injunction against WV resident

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A Delaware oil and gas property leasing company is asking the federal court to grant an injunction against a Marshall County resident and let the company construct an access road across the property.  

Noble Energy Inc. filed the verified petition for issuance of a preliminary injunction Aug. 5 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia against resident Doyle Griffith.

In its federal action, Noble said oil and gas rights under Griffith's property were excepted from a 1996 deed, conveying oil and gas rights for 323 acres of land — 26 acres of which comprise Griffith's property. 

Noble asserts ownership of 50 percent interest in the right to produce oil and gas in the Marcellus Formation under Griffith's property pursuant to a 2007 oil and gas sublease agreement.

Noble said before well work permit applications were approved, it offered to compensate Griffith for surface damages caused by construction of an access road in exchange for execution of a surface road easement.

In June, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued well work permits to Noble, court documents state.

Last month, Noble began construction on the access road but asserts in its action that after two days of construction, Griffith told contractors they were trespassing. Contractors then left the property, the action states.

Noble said it has used a residential road on an adjacent property for small machinery but needs an access road to transport heavy machinery and drilling and rigging equipment.

Griffith has not yet responded to the action.  

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