After nearly a decade of litigation, Phillips Murrah’s client, Arnold Petroleum, Inc. (“Arnold”), a small Oklahoma City-based oil and gas producer, defeated Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation (“Cabot”). Cabot, a publicly held company whose stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has offices around the country and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
The litigation involved an overriding royalty interest in oil and gas produced under leases executed in 1973. After the initial week-long trial, the trial court found in Arnold’s favor. That ruling was then reversed by the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, finding that Arnold’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations.
However, in a strongly worded opinion, the Oklahoma Supreme Court, who had accepted Arnold’s application to take the case on certiorari, sided with Arnold and affirmed the trial court’s judgment. Justice Gurich wrote, “The appeal asks us whether the plaintiffs in this case waited too long in asserting their right to payment of an overriding royalty interest in an oil-and-gas-producing formation … The Court of Civil Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment in favor of the plaintiffs on those grounds. We do not agree.”