Class-action suit against Statoil USA aims to clarify lease royalty amounts

By Robert Hadley | Jan 24, 2016

PHILADELPHIA—A Meshoppen woman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Statoil USA in a dispute surrounding royalty calculations for oil and gas leases.

Cheryl B. Canfield filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Statoil USA Onshore Properties Inc., Statoil Natural Gas LLC and Statoil ASA, alleging fraud.

According to the complaint, Canfield signed an oil and gas lease in 2006 with Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. on property she owns in the Marcellus region. Cabot was subsequently acquired by Statoil USA. Canfield is bringing the suit on behalf of all oil and gas lease holders in Pennsylvania who are paid a fixed percentage based on the amount of gas sold from wells on their land. The suit seeks to determine whether Statoil used an artificial index price to calculate royalties or whether it sold the gas to affiliated companies at an artificial price.

Canfield and members of the plaintiff class seek compensatory damages to be determined at a jury trial, disgorgement of the defendant’s alleged unjust enrichment and all legal costs. They are represented by attorneys Gerard M. Karam of Mazzoni, Karam, Petorak & Valvano in Scranton;  and by Douglas A. Clark of The Clark Law Firm of Peckville.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Case number 3:16-cv-00085

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