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Woodford Shale Lawsuit: Energy Companies Fight for Dismissal

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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The Woodford Shale has been a major source of natural gas for decades, but it has become the subject of several lawsuits in recent years. These cases involve landowners who claim that energy companies have damaged their property while drilling and fracking on or near their land.

With nearly ten years of experience handling legal cases related to oil and gas disputes, I strongly understand this particular branch of law. This article will introduce such cases and examine the typical settlement amounts involved.

Quick Summary

  • The Woodford Shale lawsuit is a complex legal battle involving multiple energy companies and allegations of corporate fraud, pension plan impropriety, and demands for accountability.
  • The environmental implications of shale gas extraction from the Woodford Shale region are significant, with potential risks to water, land, seismic activity, and habitats.
  • Major players in the lawsuit include Devon Energy Corporation, Marathon Oil Corp., White Star Petroleum, and even journalists who play an essential role in shaping public opinion and policy.

What Is Woodford Shale?

Woodford Shale

The Woodford Shale is a geological formation located primarily in the eastern part of the United States, stretching from southern New York to Texas. The Woodford Shale is a sedimentary rock formation rich in organic material, including natural gas and oil [1].

Cause Of Woodford Shale Oil Field Accidents

The hum of machinery and the constant bustle of activity in the Woodford Shale oil fields sometimes echo the unfortunate incidents of accidents.

These accidents could be sparked by a variety of factors, including:

  • Human error
  • Equipment failure
  • Inadequate safety measures
  • Natural disasters

Journalists like Paul Monies have highlighted these issues, emphasizing their impact on the gas industry in Oklahoma. The ripple effects of these accidents extend beyond the immediate vicinity, influencing policies, regulations, and public opinion [2].

Related Article: Oil Rig Accident Lawsuit Update

The Woodford Shale Lawsuit: Background and Implications

Woodford Shale

The environmental impact of Woodford Shale drilling is complex and multifaceted, with potential negative impacts on water quality, air quality, wildlife habitats, and climate change. 

Therefore, individuals or groups of individuals filed lawsuits against energy companies for damages to their property. These damages can include air pollution, water contamination, destruction of vegetation, soil erosion, and more.

Wastewater Injection Risks

One of the key environmental issues associated with gas production in the Woodford Shale region is the risk posed by wastewater injection, which can be considered a form of hazardous waste [3]. 

Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Role

Wastewater from rigGuiding the ship through these turbulent waters is the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Tasked with overseeing Oklahoma’s oil and gas exploration and production, the commission plays a pivotal role in regulating the industry. 

In response to the rising seismic activity and wastewater injection concerns, the commission has issued voluntary directives for more than 600 Arbuckle disposal wells to reduce the volumes of wastewater.

Environmental Issues

While the concerns are grave, the industry has also been making strides to address these issues. For instance, implementing co-treatment of hydraulic fracturing-produced water with municipal wastewater is seen as a cost-effective management option that could help alleviate some of the environmental concerns related to Woodford Shale gas production.

“Because oil and gas production is considered a beneficial use of water, hydraulic fracturing operations usually proceed under a temporary use permit from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB).”
Oklahoma Corporation Commission

Major Players In The Lawsuit

The Woodford Shale lawsuit is not just a legal tug of war; it’s also a stage where major energy companies are in the spotlight. Companies like Devon, Chesapeake Energy Corp., and New Dominion LLC are key participants in the lawsuit.

The involvement of these companies not only shapes the course of the lawsuit but also has a profound impact on the operations in the Woodford Shale region.

The Role Of State Legislature And Journalists

Texas state legislatureIn the grand scheme of the Woodford Shale lawsuit, the role of the state legislature and the journal record is not to be underestimated.

State legislatures are responsible for making laws and regulations that govern the operations in the region.

On the other hand, journalists have the power to shape public opinion and policy, creating a space for stakeholders to voice their concerns.

Through their reports and press releases, they can highlight the impact of the lawsuit and its consequences, playing a pivotal role in shaping the narrative around the lawsuit.

Economic Impact On The Mississippi Lime And Brickyard Prospect Area

The tremors of the Woodford Shale lawsuit go beyond the confines of the courtroom. They resonate in the economic fabric of regions like the Mississippi Lime and Brickyard Prospect Area.

The lawsuit’s outcome could have profound economic implications – both positive and negative – for these areas.

On one hand, the lawsuit could lead to decreased property values, increased unemployment, and decreased investment in the area. On the other hand, it could also increase job opportunities, investment, and property values.

Related Article: Wolfcamp Shale Lawsuit

What Is The Average Payout For Woodford Shale Lawsuits?

Person handing over a payoutThe average payout for Woodford Shalw lawsuits is not publicly accessible. The payout can be influenced by several factors, including the case’s complexity, the amount of damages sought, and the strength of the evidence presented. 

However, there is one case where in June 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced a settlement with Link Fund Solutions Limited in relation to their investigation into the operations of Woodford Investment Management. 

The FCA agreed to a payout of up to £235 million for investors affected by the suspension and closure of the Equity Income Fund in June 2019. 

This is one example of how Woodford Shale lawsuits can lead to financial compensation for those affected by negligent oil and gas activity. 

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FAQs

Why Is XTO Energy Buying Woodford Shale Assets In Oklahoma?

XTO Energy is buying Woodford Shale assets in Oklahoma because of the area’s high-quality, low-cost oil and gas deposits. XTO has made significant investments in Oklahoma’s energy industry to capitalize on this opportunity for a large return on investment. 

What Are Some Common Claims Made In A Woodford Shale Lawsuit?

Some common claims made in a Woodford Shale lawsuit include negligence, breach of contract, and environmental damage caused by improper or negligent drilling practices. Additionally, plaintiffs may seek compensation for lost wages due to decreased productivity or job opportunities resulting from energy company actions.

Get A Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Roundup Lawyer

Before taking action, you must understand the legal considerations and risks associated with filing a Woodford Shale lawsuit. With an understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, you can make better-informed decisions about how to proceed with your case.

Schmidt & Clark, LLP is dedicated to helping those impacted by corporate negligence in the Woodford Shale region. Our team of experienced attorneys deeply understands the legal considerations and regulations governing energy production and will bring their expertise to help victims of corporate negligence.

Schedule a free legal consultation with expert attorneys at Schmidt & Clark today.


References:

  1. https://mineralwise.com/directory/shale-plays/woodford-shale#:~:text=The%20Woodford%20Shale%20is%20located%20in%20the%20following%20geologic%20basins,50%20to%20300%20feet%20thick.
  2. https://www.seton.co.uk/legislationwatch/article/the-ripple-effect-of-workplace-injuries/
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290454423_Environmental_impacts_of_hydraulic_fracturing_in_shale_gas_development_in_the_United_States

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