Friday, March 15, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 32

Summary of Decision March 15, 2013

Justice Davis delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed in part. Reversed and remanded in part.


Docket Number: S-12-0140


Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County, Honorable W. Thomas Sullins, Judge.

Representing Appellant: Walter F. Eggers, III, P.C., and Patrick R. Day, P.C., of Holland & Hart LLP, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Eggers, III.

Representing Appellee Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: No appearance.

Representing Appellee Denbury Onshore, LLC: John A. Masterson and Alaina M. Stedillie of Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, Casper, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Masterson.

Date of Decision: March 15, 2013

Facts: The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved Cimarex Energy Company’s plan to reinject waste carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide into a producing natural gas formation in southwest Wyoming, over the objection of Appellant Exxon Mobil Corporation. Exxon unsuccessfully sought to overturn the Commission’s decision in the District Court for the Seventh Judicial District, and appealed the district court’s order affirming that decision to this Court.

Issues: 1. Did the Commission provide adequate findings of fact as to whether Cimarex’s plan to reinject carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide would result in waste of natural gas and improperly interfere with Exxon’s correlative rights?

2. Should the Commission have granted Exxon’s petition for a rehearing due to Denbury Onshore’s acquisition of Cimarex’s interests in the production unit where the proposed injection well would be located and its announcement of a plan to eventually sell carbon dioxide produced on that unit?

Holdings: Because the Commission’s decision would force this court to speculate as to its findings of both basic and ultimate facts, the Court reversed and remanded to the district court with directions that this case be remanded to the Commission for the purpose of making appropriate findings. However, the Court affirmed the Commission’s decision to deny Exxon’s petition for rehearing.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

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