A Louisiana oil and gas corporation wants the court to grant it the right to explore and develop land in Beaumont for oil and gas production.

Kingwood Exploration filed three separate lawsuits on April 19 in Jefferson County District Court. The defendants are Norma Chestnutt, Newlyn Lakey and the heirs of the estate of Annie Perricone Agnes and/or successor trustee of Grace Perricone.

In its complaints, Kingwood Exploration claims to have discovered an unleased interest in three different Beaumont properties. Kingwood says none of the alleged owners of the three properties have paid property taxes on interests they own and have not rendered interests for taxes at least five years prior to the suit.

Kingwood has attempted to locate the defendants named in each of the complaints, but has been unable to find them, according to the complaint.

Now, it wants to explore and develop the defendants' land for oil and gas production, the suit states. However, first it must secure valid oil and gas leases, which it now seeks.

"Plaintiff has invested substantial sums in purchasing leasehold interests in adjacent land, and Plaintiff needs to acquire this land in order to properly develop the adjacent lands," the complaint says. "Further, Plaintiff would show that activities for the exploration and development of oil and natural gas are now being conducted in the vicinity of the above-described lands, which activities may give rise to a possibility that the above-described lands will suffer drainage therefrom. Such drainage will result in substantial damage or injury not only to Plaintiff, but also to Defendants, or their heirs unless the mineral interests of defendants are properly leased to Plaintiffs so that Plaintiff may explore and develop said land."

In its complaints, Kingwood seeks a judgment appointing the county judge of Jefferson County and his successors as receiver of the defendants' mineral or royalty interests, a judgment directing the receiver to execute and deliver to it oil, gas and mineral rights and other relief to which it may be entitled.

Thomas J. Sibley of Beaumont will be representing the company.

The cases have been assigned to Judges Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court and Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B186-598, A186-599, A186-597.

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