Bollenbach Enterprises Limited Partnership v. Oklahoma Energy Acquisitions LP, et al.
Alta Mesa Settlement
Case No. 5:17-cv-00134-HE

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • You received a Notice because Defendants' records indicate that you are or were a royalty owner in Oklahoma wells which had production on or prior to June 30, 2017, where the Defendants (including their affiliated predecessors and successors) are or were the production operator (or a working interest owner who marketed its share of gas and directly paid royalties to the royalty owners) between October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017.

  • The Court issued a Notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement in this class action lawsuit and what your options are before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.  The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, and who is eligible for them.  Chief United States District Judge Joe Heaton of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma is in charge of this case, which is called Bollenbach Enterprises Limited Partnership v. Oklahoma Energy Acquisitions LP, Alta Mesa Services, L.P., and Alta Mesa Holdings, LP, Case No. 17-cv-00134-HE.  The entity who filed the lawsuit is called the "Plaintiff" and the three companies that were sued are called the "Defendants."  The Notice directs you to not contact the Court.  Please contact the Settlement Administrator if you have questions that are not answered here.

  • The Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the Defendants underpaid royalties on gas and its constituents (residue gas, natural gas liquids, helium, nitrogen, or drip condensate) produced from Oklahoma wells that the Defendants and their affiliated predecessors and successors operated or, as a working interest owner, marketed its share of gas and directly paid royalty owners.  The lawsuit alleges that from October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017, the Defendants took deductions for fees and expenses related to the midstream post-production costs of gathering, compression, dehydration, treatment, processing, and marketing.

    The Defendants deny all allegations of liability and damages, and have asserted various defenses to the claims raised in this lawsuit and to certification of the Settlement Class.  There has been no determination by any Court, administrative agency, or other tribunal regarding the claims asserted in this lawsuit.  Instead, the parties have entered into a Settlement Agreement.

  • The only gas wells that are included in the Settlement are those listed on Exhibit E to the Amended Settlement Agreement.  Exhibit E and certain other pleadings filed in the case are available on the Important Documents page.

  • All parties to this Settlement have determined that further prosecution and defense of the lawsuit would be protracted and expensive and, considering the uncertainty and inherent risk of such litigation, determined that it is desirable to compromise and settle all claims arising from the lawsuit.  All parties have elected to settle their differences under the terms of the Settlement Agreement rather than litigate their respective positions to conclusion. 

  • You are a member of the Settlement Class if you are or were a royalty owner in Oklahoma wells which had production on or prior to June 30, 2017, where Defendants (including their affiliated predecessors and successors) are or were the production operator (or a working interest owner who marketed its share of gas and directly paid royalties to the royalty owners) between October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017.

  • Yes.  Excluded from the Settlement Class are:

    (1)  agencies, departments or instrumentalities of the United States of America, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of the Interior (the United States, Indian tribes, and Indian allottees);
    (2)  the State of Oklahoma or any of its agencies or departments that own royalty interests;
    (3)  Defendants, their affiliates, predecessors, and employees, officers, and directors;
    (4)  any publicly traded company and their affiliated entities that produce, gather, process, or market gas;
    (5)  the claims of royalty owners to the extent covered by prior settlement agreements, if any, in effect at the time suit was filed herein, but only to the extent such prior settlements cover some or all of the Class Wells, Released Parties and Released Claims (the intent being that this Settlement be effective as to any matters not already released by any such prior settlement agreements);
    (6)  overriding royalty owners and others whose interest was carved out from the lessee’s interest;
    (7)  royalty owners only to the extent they take gas in-kind, if any; and 
    (8)  royalty owners only to the extent receiving payments from third party working interest owners who took their gas in-kind from Class Wells, marketed their share of gas, and provided the royalties to Alta Mesa to distribute to royalty owners.

  • The Court designated Bollenbach Enterprises Limited Partnership as the Class Representative for the Settlement Class.  The Court designated Rex A. Sharp of Rex A. Sharp, P.A. and Reagan E. Bradford and W. Mark Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm, P.C. as Settlement Class Counsel.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense to represent you in Court.

  • Defendants have agreed to pay approximately $4.6 million to the Settlement Class as a full, complete, and final settlement of all released claims, subject to adjustments for the total number of exclusions from the Class, the amount of attorneys’ fees and costs, the Class Representative award, and payment to the Settlement Administrator.  As set forth in the Plan of Allocation, the Net Settlement Amount will be proportionately allocated among Class Members based on the size of the royalty owner’s interest, lease language, the volume of gas produced from the owner’s well between October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017, and whether the gas was sold to an affiliate of the Defendants. 

    The Plan of Allocation is Exhibit A to the Amended Settlement Agreement which is available on the Important Documents page.

  • If you are a Class Member, a Distribution Check in the amount determined under the Plan of Allocation will be mailed to you if the Court finally approves the Settlement and the Settlement becomes Final and Non-appealable.

  • Settlement Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in a total amount to be determined by the Court but not to exceed one-third (1/3) of the Settlement proceeds.

  • Yes.  If you were a Class Member, you could have excluded yourself or "opted out" from the Settlement Class.  The deadline to request exclusion from the Class was February 19, 2018.

  • If you remained a Class Member, you could have objected to the Settlement and any of its terms.  The deadline to object to the Settlement was February 19, 2018.

  • If you do nothing, you will remain in the Settlement Class, be bound by the terms of the Settlement, and you may be eligible to receive benefits under the Settlement. 

  • The Court has scheduled a Fairness Hearing on March 12, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. (Central Time) at the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, located at 200 NW 4th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, before Chief United States District Court Judge Joe Heaton.  At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable to the Class Members.  If there are any objections, the Court will consider them.  After the hearing, the Court will make its decision.  We do not know how long this will take. 

  • If the Settlement receives final judicial approval, the Plaintiffs, all Class Members, and members who timely requested exclusion from the Settlement Class, will release all claims that they have alleged or could have alleged in this lawsuit.  This includes all claims (known or unknown) that arise in whole or in part out of the alleged underpayment of royalties on gas and its constituents (residue gas, natural gas liquids, helium, nitrogen, or drip condensate) produced from Oklahoma wells that the Defendants and their affiliated predecessors and successors operated or, as a working interest owner, marketed its share of gas and directly paid royalty owners between October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017.

  • No.  Settlement Class Counsel will answer any questions that the Court may have, however, you may attend at your own expense.  

    If you file an objection to the Settlement, you don’t have to appear in Court to talk about it.  As long as you file your written objection on time, the Court will consider it.  If you desire, you also may hire a lawyer at your own expense to attend and represent you at the hearing.

  • You can continue to visit this website for updates.  The full Settlement Agreement and certain other pleadings filed in the case are available on the Important Documents page. 

  • You can continue to visit this website for updates, submit a question on the Contact Us page, or write to:

    Alta Mesa Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 6878
    Broomfield, CO 80021 



    NOTE:  The pleadings and other papers filed in this Action are available in the Office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, 200 NW 4th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Alta Mesa Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 6878
Broomfield, CO 80021