BP seeks to transfer oil & gas royalty suit

By David Yates | Aug 8, 2011

BP America is seeking to transfer venue in an oil & gas lease royalty lawsuit brought by several area residents.

As previously reported, plaintiffs Thomas Lee Jr., Margaret and Janet Isaacks, Lucy Lamme, Lana Cureton, Donna Lee and Irene Pagan filed suit against BP and Cimarex Energy on March 14 in Jefferson Court District Court.

A month later, BP answered the suit and requested that the venue be transferred to Harris County "on the grounds that neither mandatory or permissive venue exists in Jefferson County," according to court papers.

The motion to transfer also states the even if venue is proper in Jefferson County, transferring the suit to Harris County will ease the parties' burdens.

On July 20, a notice of hearing was filed in the case, slating the hearing to transfer venue to be held on Sept. 14, court papers say.

According to the lawsuit, on June 2, 2009, BP leased 560.36 acres of land in Jefferson County to Cimarex Energy for the purpose of developing and producing oil and gas.

The plaintiffs share a portion of a one-sixteenth reserved royalty interest "of all the oil produced and saved" from 156.68 acres included in their nonparticipating royalty interest, which was established in 1933, under the BP/Cimarex lease," the suit states.

Cimarex, since November 2009, has drilled two wells covered by the plaintiffs' mineral rights, producing and selling both gas and oil products generated from the wells.

"Nonetheless, BP and Cimarex have failed and refused to honor plaintiffs' nonparticipating royalty interest and have refused to pay any royalty to plaintiffs," the suit states.

The plaintiffs are seeking declaratory relief and an award of damages sustained.

They are represented in part by Houston attorney Mano Deayala of Buck Keenan.

Woodlands attorney Craig Stahl of Andrews Kurth represents BP.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. A189-586

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