W.V. Man Challenges Two Drillers Over Gas Wells

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Marion County man is suing two gas companies, arguing they don't have the right to use the surface of his land for wells that will drain gas from neighboring properties.

Richard Cain is suing Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy and Glenville-based Waco Oil and Gas in Marion County Circuit Court.

Neither company has commented.

Cain bought the land in 1989 but doesn't own the mineral rights underneath. The Charleston Daily Mail says they were sold a century ago.

XTO wants to use 36 acres as a staging area for several well pads. Horizontal drilling would then tap hundreds of adjacent acres where the companies also own mineral rights.

Cain contends the amount of gas they're taking from his land is minute and doesn't justify the surface disruption.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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