Landowners in northwest Oklahoma who entered into oil and natural gas leases with Chesapeake between December 2007 and March 2012.
What's Going On?
It is believed that these leaseholders may have been cheated out of money in light of allegations that Chesapeake Energy conspired to rig bids for the purchase of oil and natural gas leases.
Is There Any Proof?
The Department of Justice released a statement stating that the former CEO of Chesapeake was indicted for "masterminding" a conspiracy to not compete for oil and natural gas leases.
Landowners in northwest Oklahoma who entered into oil and natural gas leases with Chesapeake Energy between December 2007 and March 2012 may have been cheated out of money when they leased their properties for oil and natural gas extraction. A class action lawsuit has been filed alleging that Chesapeake conspired to rig bids for the purchase of leases in the area, leaving little room for competition in the marketplace.
Why Was the Lawsuit Filed?
The lawsuit was filed because the companies worked together to fix the prices of their oil and gas leases, while allocating the interest among themselves. Under federal antitrust laws, it’s illegal for companies to conspire to restrain commerce, as it allows for little to no competition in the marketplace.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the three companies would decide beforehand who would “win” a specific lease and then the “winner” would allocate an interest in the leases to the other companies. The agency claimed that the CEO instructed his subordinates to carry out the conspiracy, which included “withdrawing bids for certain leases and agreeing on the allocation of interests in the leases between the conspiring companies.”
Days before the lawsuit was filed, the DOJ announced that the former CEO had been indicted for “masterminding” this alleged conspiracy.