State Supreme Court Rules Against Landowner in 6-year old Condemnation Case

An eastern Oklahoma landowner who thought his land was worth $419,000 has lost an appeal with the State Supreme Court in a fight over an underground natural gas reservoir.

In a ruling earlier this month, the high court upheld a Haskell County judge’s ruling that awarded landowner Royce Larsen only $9,000 after his 80 acres were condemned by Stephens Production Company in 2009.

The 80-acres were part of a 900-acre reservoir known as the Hunton Formation. Larsen objected to the original amount and took his case last year to the Court of Civil Appeals which also ruled against him. The original condemnation of the 900 acres involved 140 defendants and Larsen was the only property owner who chose to go to court.

During the bench trial, Larsen’s expert witness valued the 80-acres at $419,000. After losing with the Court of Civil Appeals, Larsen went to the Supreme Court last fall.

Prior to going to court, the matter had been before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission which ruled the Hunton Formation was more suitable for underground storage of natural gas and that there was no economically recoverable oil or natural gas within the reservoir.



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