Texas Rancher Wins Back Royalty Payments

by Elizabeth Alford on September 2, 2015

A Texas rancher wins a $4.2 million judgment for natural gas royalties case.

Related: Chesapeake Before Texas Supreme Court

The 49th State District Court agreed that Anadarko failed to pay the appropriate royalties on natural gas leases to Betsy Mecom, a rancher from Zapata County. The court also awarded an additional $1.4 million in interest, $480,000 in attorney’s fees and more than $5,900 in court costs.

The monies were for more than 100 wells located on land they owned along the Rio Grande River and in South Texas. Anadarko will now have to pay the $2.3 million in damages and attorney’s fees.

Disputes between mineral owners and producers are commonplace and legal battles like this one can drag on for years. To prevent any more delays, the judge ordered that the judgement would accrue 5 percent interest for each year that it is unpaid.

Texas has a provision that allows mineral owners to request an audit if they have a dispute with an operators, which might involve royalty payment discrepancies, lease issues, drilling provisions or surface obligations. During an audit, production information, check stubs and other Owners have a four year time limit (from the time of infraction) to request an audit.

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