On March 22, the city council approved a $6 million lawsuit settlement with the U.S. subsidiaries of French oil and gas company Total, as part of a lawsuit the city has with Total and Chesapeake Energy.
The city has several oil and gas leases with different companies, one of which is Chesapeake Energy. In 2010, Chesapeake sold 25 percent of its interests to Total.
But in 2013, the city filed a lawsuit against Total and Chesapeake, saying that Total is charging the city with post-production expenses that are not supposed to be charged to the landowner. Post-production is the work done after oil or gas is drilled from the ground, such as removing water, separating the oil from the gas and other tasks.
The settlement is with Total’s U.S. subsidiaries, Total E&P (USA), Inc. and Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. Pruitt said Total owes an estimated $6 million to the city. Under the settlement terms, Total will pay $6 million to the city, and out of that amount, the city will pay $2 million in legal fees to Fort Worth law firm Cantey Hanger, which represented the city in the case.
Deputy city attorney Gerald Pruitt said Total and Chesapeake are joint defendants in the case. The city’s settlement is with Total, but not with Chesapeake.
Litigation with Chesapeake is still ongoing, Pruitt said.