§22-21-26. Limitation on actions in trespass.

In any case where title to subsurface minerals has been severed in such a way that title to natural gas underlying such tract and title to coal underlying such tract are in different persons, it shall be an affirmative defense to any action for willful trespass arising from the drilling and commercial production of methane from any coal seam underlying such tract, that the operator of such well permitted, drilled and completed such well under color of title of any instrument, deed, or lease for oil and gas purposes from the gas owner, or an instrument, deed or lease for coal mining purposes from the coal owner.