A U.S. District Court judge in Kansas affirmed a recommendation by a court-appointed panel that Northern Natural Gas Co. should pay $7.3 million for its condemnation of more than 9,000 acres in south-central Kansas in order to contain gas migrating from an underground storage facility. The amount is far less than what landowners and oil/gas producers had been seeking in the multi-year case (see Daily GPI, Aug. 29, 2014). The property-taking by Northern Natural was done to contain gas that had been migrating from the company's Cunningham Storage Field in Pratt, Reno and Kingman counties (see Daily GPI, March 15, 2012; March 18, 2011; Jan. 7, 2011; July 26, 2010; June 4, 2010). Some parties in the matter chose to settle with Northern and accept its offer without going to trial. They got a better deal than the panel recommended, Northern said last year at the time the panel made its recommendation. The court must now decide how to split the amount awarded in the case among affected landowners in the three counties. A conference is scheduled for Feb. 18.