If you received a Notice, you may be a Class Member and eligible to receive benefits from the proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit.
Important Update: On March 27, 2018, the Court entered the orders finally approving the class action settlement. You may view the orders on the Important Documents section of the website. The Settlement requires that the Order and Final Judgment become Final and Non-Appealable before the distribution of settlement benefits can occur. Once the Order and Final Judgment become Final and Non-Appealable, JND will begin the initial distribution of benefits, which is tentatively scheduled for late July or early August of 2018.
What is the lawsuit about?
Chieftain Royalty Company ("Plaintiff") filed a class action lawsuit alleging that XTO Energy Inc. (“Defendant”) underpaid royalties to royalty owners for natural gas and its constituents on Oklahoma wells where Defendant (or a predecessor or affiliate of Defendant) is or was the operator or, as a non-operator, Defendant separately marketed gas. Claims include, but are not limited to, allegations that Defendant:
- made various deductions and reductions from royalty payments that should not have been made by deducting direct and indirect fees for marketing, gathering, transporting, compression, dehydration, processing, treatment, and other similar services before the gas and its constituents (including helium, residue gas, natural gas liquids, nitrogen, and condensate) was a “marketable product”;
- did not pay royalty on gas that was used off the lease premises or in the manufacture of products;
- did not pay royalty on drip condensate that dropped out of the gas stream; and
- failed to provide to royalty payees all of the information required by statute.
Defendant expressly denies all allegations of wrongdoing or liability with respect to the claims and allegations in the Litigation. The Court has made no determination with respect to any of the parties’ claims or defenses asserted by any of the parties to the Action. Instead, the parties have entered into a Settlement Agreement that was preliminarily approved by the Court on January 18, 2018.
Who is included?
The Settlement Class consists of the following individuals and entities:
All non-excluded persons or entities who are or were a royalty owner in Oklahoma wells where Defendant, including its predecessors or affiliates, is or was the operator or, as a non-operator, Defendant separately marketed gas. The Class Claims relate only to royalty payments for gas and its constituents (helium, residue gas, natural gas liquids, nitrogen and condensate) produced from such wells from May 1, 2002 through production month May 31, 2017. The Class does not include overriding royalty owners or other owners who derive their interest through the oil and gas lessee.
A list of the persons, entities and claims excluded from the Class is provided in the Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action, which is available for download from the Important Documents page. A preliminary list of Class Wells is also available for download from the Important Documents page.
How do I participate in the Settlement?
As a Class Member, you do not have to do anything to obtain the benefits of the proposed Settlement.