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Anadarko Basin Lawsuit Results in $7 Million Settlement

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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The Anadarko Basin lawsuit has been a hot topic for landowners and energy companies alike, shedding light on the darker side of the oil and gas industry. 

In this article, I will use my experience as a legal attorney in environmental and civil law to discuss the lawsuit, alleged conspiracy, and legal proceedings that resulted in a $7 million deal.

Quick Summary

  • The Anadarko Basin lawsuit revealed alleged market collusion between energy companies resulting in a $7 million settlement to compensate landowners.
  • The court distributes the settlement funds, and class representatives are appointed to represent affected individuals.
  • The lawsuit focused on claims accusing energy companies of conspiring to manipulate the market for oil and gas leaseholds in the Anadarko Basin.

What Is The Anadarko Basin?

Geographical formation of Anadarko Basin

The Anadarko Basin is a geological region abundant in oil and gas resources, stretches across Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, and is known for its rich petroleum reserves [1]. 

The region’s sedimentary rocks have an estimated thickness of at least 40,000 feet in the deep southern part, contributing to the abundance of petroleum in the area.

What Happened At The Anadarko Basin?

At the Anadarko Basin, a lawsuit was filed following the indictment of Aubrey McClendon, the former Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Energy Corp, who allegedly conspired with other energy companies to rig the market for oil and gas leaseholds in the Anadarko Basin region.

This collision was said to have artificially lowered the prices of royalty and bonus payments to landowners, causing significant financial harm to those affected.

The Anadarko Basin Lawsuit Overview

A lawyer reading the Anadarko Basin LawsuitThe Anadarko Basin lawsuit was a class-action antitrust case filed by landowners against several energy companies, accusing them of price-fixing in the Anadarko Basin.

The lawsuit ultimately resulted in a $6.95 million settlement, with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC serving as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

The heart of the lawsuit centered around the alleged conspiracy by the energy companies to manipulate the market for oil and gas leaseholds in the Anadarko Basin.

The legal proceedings and developments associated with the lawsuit included the filing and transfer of the case, consolidation for discovery, and the final Settlement.

Parties Involved

A concept image of law and justice

The primary litigants in the lawsuit were the plaintiffs (landowners) and the defendants, including Chesapeake Energy Corp.

The landowners sought compensation for the damages caused by the alleged conspiracy of the defendants to manipulate the market for oil and gas leaseholds in the Anadarko Basin.

Other parties involved in the lawsuit included:

  • D.C.P.
  • Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
  • Chesapeake Energy
  • Chesapeake Exploration, LLC
  • SandRidge Energy Inc.

Alleged Conspiracy

A court judge talkingThe alleged conspiracy involved Chesapeake Energy Corp. and SandRidge Energy Inc. colluding to manipulate bidding and divide the region encompassing the Anadarko Basin in Kansas and other states.

This collusion led to artificially low royalty and bonus payments to landowners, causing them financial harm.

The primary matter of contention in the lawsuit was determining the presence of a conspiracy between Chesapeake and SandRidge to manipulate bidding for leaseholds and reduce the cost of such leaseholds, potentially involving rig bids.

The legal proceedings associated with the Anadarko Basin lawsuit began with a group of landowners filing the case alleging conspiracy to fix prices. The case was initially filed in Kansas but was later transferred to the Western District of Oklahoma for various reasons, including witness convenience and efficient administration of justice.

Filing and Transfer of the Case

A person holding a gavel and some documentsThe case was transferred from Kansas to the Western District of Oklahoma due to witness convenience and the efficient administration of justice.

The transfer was carried out under 28 U.S.C. 1404 to any district where it could have been brought for the benefit of the parties and witnesses and to ensure justice was served [2].

This transfer allowed for a more reasonable utilization of resources and time and a more uniform outcome for all parties involved.

Consolidation for Discovery

Consolidation for discovery is a process that facilitates the management of multiple cases through a single court proceeding, thereby allowing for a more efficient and streamlined process. 

What Is The Average Payout For Anadarko Basin Lawsuits?

A person counting money on his handsThe average payout for Anadarko Basin lawsuits can be challenging, depending on each case’s circumstances.

Factors such as the type of claim, the amount of damages sought, the strength of the evidence, and the jurisdiction in which the case is heard can all influence the payout.

As an illustration, a $7 million settlement agreement was achieved in an Anadarko Basin lawsuit in 2019. However, it is important to note that each case is unique, and many factors can influence the average payout.

Settlement Class and Class Representatives

A settlement class is a collective of individuals included in a class-action lawsuit and affected by the allegations made against the defendant. 

In the case of the Anadarko Basin lawsuit, the settlement class pertains to landowners who were purportedly impacted by the alleged conspiracy, with class representatives acting on their behalf.

A federal judge presiding over the federal court is responsible for allocating and distributing funds from the Settlement.

This process ensures that the funds are fairly and accurately distributed to eligible class members who have suffered financial losses due to the alleged conspiracy.

“This settlement finally gives thousands of landowners in Oklahoma and Kansas the relief and justice they deserve,”
Christopher Cormier, of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Co-Lead Counsel For The Plaintiffs

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Are There Any Ongoing Efforts To Address The Environmental And Health Impacts In The Anadarko Basin?

There are ongoing efforts to address the environmental and health impacts in the Anadarko Basin. These include efforts by state and federal agencies such as the E.P.A., B.L.M., and USGS to reduce air pollution from oil and gas operations through regulations, voluntary agreements with industry, and initiatives such as methane capture programs.

What Kind Of Damages Or Remedies Are Typically Sought In These Lawsuits?

The kind of damages or remedies that are typically sought in these lawsuits include compensatory, nominal, and punitive damages. 

Get A Free Lawsuit Evaluation Today

If you have been affected by the events related to the Anadarko Basin case, it is worth seeking a free lawsuit evaluation from our roundup attorneys at Schmidt & Clark, LLP.

A free evaluation can help you determine if you have a case and provide valuable guidance on how to proceed.

Our attorneys are experienced in environmental law and have helped many clients to receive compensation for their damages.



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