Tulsa federal judge Gregory K. Frizzell has sided with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and an Oklahoma association of oil and gas producers and denied the request of a landowner to intervene in a lawsuit over drilling permit applications in Osage County. The judge denied the request of David P.Hayes who asked in December for permission to join the lawsuit filed by producers against the BIA. In his ruling, Judge Frizzell said Hayes has no legal interest in the case.
A hearing was held in December on the request. Hayes maintained his right to enter the suit in order to protect his property from the potential environmental harm from drilling without any site-specific environmental studies. The BIA argued that the landowners claims had nothing to do the original allegations of the lawsuit. The producers’ attorneys called Hayes’ efforts a delaying tactic to curtail oil and gas development in the county. The suit by the Osage Producers Association was filed by producers who contend the BIA has denied drilling permits for two years in Osage County.
About 160 businesses make up the Osage Producers Association and they contend the BIA’s actions have been responsible for a nearly 50 percent drop in the number of wells drilled from 2013 to 2014. Their suit alleged that more than 400 permits had been submitted to the Bureau and many had not been acted upon for more than a year. they also accused the BIA of deliberately dragging its feet thereby, blocking oil and gas producers from conducting any drilling work on their leased land.Read OK Energy Today’s original article from July 1, 2015.
OK Energy Today