$1.5 Million Royalty Judgment Not Enough

by Elizabeth Alford on April 20, 2016

A Denver oilman who has made a career out of fighting oil and gas companies says a recent royalty judgment is not enough.

Related: Mineral Litigation Surges in Texas

A Harris County jury recently awarded Jack and Celeste Grynberg $1.5 million for a four year-old breach of contract lawsuit that claimed Exxon Mobil payed the family unreasonably low prices for carbon dioxide retrieved from their property.

Though the courts sided with Grynberg, he is looking for a way to appeal because he believes $40 million is much closer to the real damages.

This tussle in a Texas court is not Jack’s first rodeo. He believes that the petroleum industry has a habit of stealing from well owners like himself and he has pushed back. Over the course of his career, the 84 year-old has won over three quarters of a billion dollars in awards and settlements from cases against oil and gas companies.

Commenting on his many oil and gas lawsuits, Grynberg told NPR, “Well, I guess you can say I’ve been a fighter ever since I was a kid. I’m a Holocaust survivor. At the age of 12, I carried a gun in the forest of Belarus, in the Partisans, fighting the Nazis.”

As crude prices and rig counts plummeted over the last year, the number of lawsuits have increased and Texas courts are seeing a huge swell in royalty, lease and title complaints. The typical one-page royalty statement issued by oil and gas companies isn’t always clear about how royalties are calculated or what specific expenses were charged. But more and more owners, like Grynberg, are being increasingly vigilant about analyzing these statements to check for accuracy and fraud.

Read more at HoustonChronicle.com

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