Chesapeake Energy and Total E&P have agreed to pay $52.5 million to landowners who were cheated out of natural gas royalties.
The two energy companies announced on Monday that they will settle lawsuits filed by 13,000 property owners on Tarrant and Johnson counties.
“We are pleased to have reached a mutually acceptable resolution of this legacy issue and look forward to further strengthening our relationships with our royalty owners,” Chesapeake spokesman Gordon Pennoyer said in a prepared statement.
Chesapeake is ordered to pay $29.3 million, with Tootal paying $13.1 million in cash. Chesapeake will pay another $10 million in three years.
McDonald law firm and Cicelli, Walter & Young represent the plaintiffs, who must still approve the deal by a vast majority (90%). Payments will vary based on production and lease language and will likely range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
In April, Chesapeake Energy revealed they would pay the Fort Worth School District $1 million in royalties after reaching an out-of-court settlement from a 2014 case where the school district. The company had improperly deducted expenses from royalties owed to the district and its taxpayers.