Just before the Fourth of July holiday, a Houston federal judge approved the distribution and timeline of a $24 million settlement that will benefit royalty owners and their lawyers that represented them in a six-year legal battle against Talisman Energy USA.
The July 2 order, signed by U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison, sets a scheduled for the settlement, which includes a 100% payout to class members and $9 million in attorney’s fees, which the judge has ordered the settlement administrator to pay out to Provost Umphrey, the royalty owners’ law firm, within 30 days.
The order follows an approval of the settlement that Judge Ellison gave during a May fairness hearing. That hearing was the final step in the settlement process with Repsol Oil and Gas (which now owns Talisman), while last Wednesday’s order tied the bow on the settlement.
“We are one step closer to making things right with over 2,700 individual royalty owners systematically underpaid for over three years,” said Bryan Blevins of Provost Umphrey, the lead attorney for the royalty owners. “It has been a long battle but one that needed to be fought.”
In the litigation, which began in 2016, the plaintiffs alleged Talisman improperly allocated production volumes and underpaid owners for wells operated in the Eagle Ford Shale. They said Talisman failures violated the lease agreements for a three-year period between 2013 and 2016. In addition, the plaintiffs said the company altered production volumes by as much as 30% and paid royalties based on estimated sales instead of the actual volume of oil or gas sold.
The Provost Umphrey team representing the plaintiffs also included Michael Hamilton. The defense team also includes Mark Little of Baker Botts as well as Rob Theriot and Jana Grauberger of Liskow Lewis.