|Class Action Suit Against Beck Energy Upheld After Challenge From XTO|
|Written by Staff|
|Wednesday, February 20, 2013 4:41 PM|
The class action case of Clyde A. Hupp, et. al., Plaintiffs versus Beck Energy Corporation, Defendant has been ongoing for over a year. The lawsuit stemmed from several county residents having their oil and gas rights tied up in low-value leases with Beck Energy when the horizontal oil and gas boom began to hit.
The legal process in the case began in September of 2011. On Sept. 14, 2011, a Complaint to Quiet Title was filed followed by the filing of an Amended Class Action Complaint on Sept. 29, 2011. The complaints filed were “to seek the cancellation of various oil and gas leases between the Plaintiffs and Beck.”
Following the legal battle, it was declared on July 12, 2012 by Judge Ed Lane, sitting by Assignment in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas, that certain undeveloped oil and gas leases of Beck Energy Corporation pertaining to land in Monroe County were to be void and forfeited.
According to the judgement by Judge Lane, the Beck Energy leases of the three named Plaintiffs were void because they “clearly, unequivocally and seriously offend[ed] public policy” which prohibits perpetual oil and gas leases without development. The Court also decided that, by failing to drill a well within the one year period stated in the form lease, Beck Energy breached an implied covenant to reasonably develop the leased premises. Judge Lane declared that Beck Energy’s rights in the leases and in the oil and gas under the Plaintiffs’ properties were forfeited.
During the time that legal action was taking place against Beck Energy, a massive deal was reached between Beck and XTO, an affiliate of ExxonMobil. The following was originally reported in the Beacon on Jan. 19, 2012: “ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy recently acquired approximately 13,200 acres of mineral rights in Monroe County through a deal with Beck Energy Corp. of Ravenna, OH. The deal consists of 161 individual leases spread across 11 of the 18 townships in the county.”
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