Oklahoma Supreme Court reverses $124 million ruling

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday reversed a lower-court ruling and said Tulsa-based Helmerich and Payne Inc. does not have to pay nearly $124 million to royalty owners in the state.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: December 11, 2013
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The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday reversed a lower-court ruling and said Tulsa-based Helmerich and Payne Inc. does not have to pay nearly $124 million to royalty owners.

The case centers on royalty payments H&P made to owners of minerals under two 640-acre sections of land in Beckham County from 1978 to 1998.

The royalty owners claim that in the mid-1980s, H&P underpaid them for natural gas production and that it hid a settlement it made with a pipeline operator in the area.

At trial, a jury found the company guilty of unjust enrichment and disgorgement of profits and awarded the royalty owners nearly $127 million.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld part of the lower court's findings and said the company must still pay $3.65 million in damages. The Supreme Court, however, reversed the jury's awards of nearly $124 million.


by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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