Beck Redden Secures Affirmance of Summary Judgment

  • March 10, 2016

In Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, LP v. PetroMax Operating Co., Inc., et al, the Firm obtained an affirmance of a summary judgment previously secured in the 12th District Court of Madison County, Texas, finding no contract existed between Burlington and Defendants.  Predecessors of the parties had entered into an Area of Mutual Interest (“AMI”) agreement, which provided that the parties would offer to each other an interest in any oil and gas leases acquired within the AMI for as long as the parties jointly owned interests within the area.  Burlington, as successor to one of the parties to the AMI, sought to enforce the agreement against Defendants, successors to the other party to the AMI. The case turned on a 1994 assignment by one of Burlington's predecessors.  The issue was whether, in that assignment, the Burlington predecessor assigned all of its interests in certain leases, as Defendants argued, or only a portion of its interests in those leases, as Burlington argued, withholding the interests on which Burlington relied in contending the AMI agreement was still in effect.

In affirming the summary judgment, the Texarkana Court of Appeals (3–0) held that “the summary judgment evidence conclusively established that Burlington conveyed the interest it now claims, [and] it no longer stands in a contractual position to assert its claims.”

David Beck, David Gunn, Thomas Ganucheau, and Jim Taylor of Beck Redden LLP represented PetroMax, Petro Texas, LLC, and CH4 Energy II, LLC, in both the trial court and on appeal.  Woodbine Acquisition was represented by Greg Curry, Rich Phillips and Greg Binns of Thompson & Knight, LLP and Jeffrey C. Lewis of Atchley, Russell, Waldrop & Hlavinka, LLP.  TexCal Energy South Texas, LP was represented by Jesse Pierce and Brian Tully of Pierce & O’Neill, LLP and Deborah Hankinson of Hankinson, LLP.  Please see the attached opinion.