Oklahoma’s Supreme Court has ruled against Mewbourne Oil Company in a nearly 16-year battle with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, a fight over forced pooling of mineral interests in the state, intrinsic fraud and monetary damages.
“Application to assume original jurisdiction is denied. All justices concur,” read the order issued earlier in February.
Mewbourne sued Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony, Todd Hiett and Dana Murphy after being denied a request filed in 2006 for forced pooling on land (28 20N 26W) in western Oklahoma’s Ellis County.
At the time, Optima Oil and Gas, based in Denver, Colorado owned 85% of the oil and gas leasehold rights while Mewbourne, based in Tyler, Texas held 15% of the rights. Mewbourne sought the forced pooling order to become the operator of the unit.
As OK Energy Today reported in 2017, the controversial request went before an Administrative Law Judge.
The most recent ruling was the second from the state supreme court because it had ruled years ago that the Corporation Commission was wrong to have designated Mewbourne as operator.
Mewbourne also went to Oklahoma City federal court and the case wound up before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where Optima accused Mewbourne of “wrongful and fraudulent” conduct with the commission. The appeals court agreed with the lower court that Optima’s claims were just “intrinsic fraud” and the Corporation Commission should make the final decision.
In 2014, Optima asked the Commission to award a money judgment against Mewbourne for alleged litigation misconduct and Mewbourne responded by saying the Commission lacked jurisdiction to award such a judgment.
The Commission went ahead with a hearing on the claim for money damages and Mewbourne went to court, asking the justices to assume jurisdiction.
Click below to view the Supreme Court file