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Ohio Utica Shale

Chesapeake must pay $121 million to three Texas lease holders

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Thursday:

By Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Margaret Cronin Fisk

Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, must pay $121 million to three Texas lease holders after failing to persuade an appeals court to overturn a verdict that it reneged on deals to buy mineral rights when prices plunged in 2008.

A federal judge in Houston ruled in 2012 that Chesapeake couldn’t escape contracts to lease more than 500 oil and gas properties from Preston Exploration Co. and two affiliates. The Oklahoma City-based company began negotiating the leases in June 2008, only to see gas prices plunge by as much as 50 percent in the weeks before the contract closing that November.

The lawsuit is one of hundreds of landowner claims filed in federal and state courts in Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states alleging Chesapeake broke contracts for oil and gas leases.

Chesapeake had no basis for claiming Preston and its affiliates couldn’t deliver their end of the deal and was therefore required to fulfill its obligations under the agreement, a three-judge panel of U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans said in its ruling today.

The case is Preston Exploration Co. L.P. v. G.S.F. LLC and Chesapeake Energy Corp., 13-20345, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (New Orleans).

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.