Important Update: At the Final Fairness Hearing on March 8, 2019, the Court granted final approval to the settlement and approved class counsel fees and expenses and administration expenses. Copies of the final approval documents are available from the Important Documents page.
What is the Settlement about?
On December 17, 2018, the Court preliminarily approved a Settlement in the above-captioned litigation (the "Litigation") between Chieftain Royalty Company, Kelsie Wagner as Trustee of the Kelsie Wagner Trust, and Kelsie Wagner as Successor Trustee of the Wade Costello Trust, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated ("Plaintiffs"), and Marathon Oil Company ("Defendant"). The Litigation asserts that Defendant failed to pay statutory interest on payments made by Defendant (or on behalf of Defendant) outside the time periods set forth in the Production Revenue Standards Act, 52 Okla. St. §570.1, et seq. (the “PRSA”) for oil and gas production proceeds from oil and gas wells in Oklahoma.
Defendant expressly denies all factual and legal allegations and denies liability to Plaintiffs or any of the Class Members for any of the claims and allegations in the Litigation. The Court has made no determination with respect to any of the parties’ claims or defenses. Instead, Plaintiffs and Defendant have agreed to the Settlement in order to avoid the risk, cost and time of a trial, and Plaintiffs have avoided any further delay in resolving the Litigation.
A detailed description of the allegations against the Defendant is provided in the Notice of Proposed Settlement, which is available for download on the Important Documents page.
What does the Settlement provide?
Defendant has agreed to pay $14,950,000.00 in cash ("Gross Settlement Fund") and has made other non-monetary agreements (“Future Benefits”) which are estimated by Plaintiffs to have a net present value of at least $17,100,000.00, in settlement of all claims alleged in the Litigation. The Gross Settlement Fund, less Plaintiffs’ Attorneys’ Fees, Litigation Expenses, any Case Contribution Award awarded by the Court, other costs approved by the Court, and the amount of money attributable to Class Members who elect to exclude themselves from the Settlement or are otherwise excluded from the Settlement Class (the “Net Settlement Fund”), will be distributed to Class Members who qualify for a distribution.
Additional information on the benefits provided by the Settlement and how the Gross Settlement Fund will be allocated are provided in the Notice of Proposed Settlement, which is available for download on the Important Documents page.
Who is included?
The Settlement Class consists of the following:
All non-excluded persons or entities who received working interest, royalty, and/or overriding royalty payments from Defendant for oil and/or gas proceeds from Oklahoma Wells at any time up to and including August 31, 2018, or whose oil and/or gas proceeds have been paid over by Defendant to various state agencies as unclaimed or abandoned property at any time up to and including August 31, 2018.
A list of the persons, entities and claims excluded from the Class is provided in the Notice of Proposed Settlement, which is available for download on the Important Documents page.