Settlement reached in Chesapeake oil, gas royalties fight

DALLAS (AP) — Chesapeake Operating Inc. and some Barnett Shale mineral rights owners have reached an out-of-court settlement over alleged underpaid oil and gas royalties.

The settlement announced Wednesday involves more than a dozen mineral rights owners, including billionaire investor Edward Bass of Fort Worth.

Terms weren’t released.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake has handled production activities on some of the North Texas properties since 2007.

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The 2013 lawsuit alleged Chesapeake violated lease agreements by selling natural gas production from one corporate subsidiary to another, driving down the resulting price.

A federal judge in Dallas last month ruled in favor of mineral rights owners. Attorneys for both sides on Tuesday were prepared to pick a jury to determine final damages. Court documents indicate the landowners could have been owed about $8.6 million.