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Brief -- Chesapeake Settlement

The Fort Worth, TX, city council has voted 9-0 to authorize a $15 million settlement with Chesapeake Energy Corp. regarding underpaid natural gas royalties for Barnett Shale volumes. Fort Worth originally had sought $33.5 million in the lawsuit for royalties from more than 260 leases on 5,800 acres of property in Tarrant and Johnson counties. Chesapeake, which has leased land with the city since 2006, agreed to make the full payment by Tuesday (May 31). Going forward, royalty payments for the Barnett gas will be calculated using Houston Ship Channel prices, without any deductions for post-production costs and expenses. Revenue would be retroactive to April 1, 2016. The city council in March settled a similar lawsuit for $6 million with Chesapeake's Barnett 25% partner Total E&P USA (see Shale DailyMarch 23). Chesapeake and Total also agreed to pay $52.5 million to settle lawsuits with more than 13,000 people owning land in the Barnett, who had claimed they were underpaid royalties for their gas leases (see Shale DailyMay 23).

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