NBL » Topics » Legal Proceedings

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-Q filed Aug 2, 2007.
Legal Proceedings – In January 2003, Patina Oil & Gas Corporation (“Patina”), a company acquired by us in 2005, was named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that Patina had improperly deducted certain costs in connection with its calculation of royalty payments relating to its Wattenberg field operations (Jack Holman, et al v. Patina Oil & Gas Corporation; Case No. 03-CV-09; District Court, Weld County, Colorado).  In October 2006, we received service in an additional lawsuit styled Wardell Family Partnership and Glen Droegemueller v. Noble Energy, Inc. et al; Case No. 06-CV-734, District Court, Weld County, Colorado, involving royalty and overriding royalty interest owners in the same field and not members of the Holman class. Through a mediation process, we and the attorneys representing the Holman class and Wardell putative class entered into a Settlement Agreement dated February 15, 2007.  Such a settlement was preliminarily approved by the court with notice of the settlement published in local newspapers and sent to all members of the Holman class and Wardell putative class.  In accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement, we deposited the settlement funds into an escrow account in April 2007.  At a Final Approval Hearing on June 11, 2007, the Court approved the settlement. The amount of the settlement was fully accrued and had no material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (“IEPA”) issued a notice of violation to Equinox Oil Company on September 25, 2001 alleging violation of air emission and permitting regulations for a facility known as the Zif Gas Plant located near Clay City, Illinois.  On January 17, 2007, the IEPA re-issued written notices of these alleged violations in the name of Equinox’s successors in interest, and our subsidiaries, Elysium Energy, LLC and Noble Energy Production, Inc. On March 16, 2007, the IEPA accepted Noble Energy Production’s and Elysium’s compliance commitment agreement wherein the

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companies agreed to pay a delayed permit fee, install an incineration/caustic scrubber emissions control system at the site, and fund a supplemental environmental project (“SEP”) in the nearby community.  At this time, we expect no additional monies to be expended other than these amounts for which we have fully accrued.  However, the matter will remain open until the emissions control system is constructed and operating within IEPA parameters and the SEP is completed, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2007.

We are involved in various legal proceedings in the ordinary course of business.  These proceedings are subject to the uncertainties inherent in any litigation.  We are defending ourselves vigorously in all such matters and we do not believe that the ultimate disposition of such proceedings will have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-Q filed May 4, 2007.
Legal Proceedings — In January 2003, Patina Oil & Gas Corporation (“Patina”), a company acquired by us in 2005, was named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that Patina had improperly deducted certain costs in connection with its calculation of royalty payments relating to its Wattenberg field operations (Jack Holman, et al v. Patina Oil & Gas Corporation; Case No. 03-CV-09; District Court, Weld County, Colorado).  In October 2006, we received service in an additional lawsuit styled Wardell Family Partnership and Glen Droegemueller v. Noble Energy, Inc. et al; Case No. 06-CV-734, District Court, Weld County, Colorado, involving royalty and overriding royalty interest owners in the same field and not members of the Holman class. Through a mediation process, we and the attorneys representing the Holman class and Wardell putative class entered into a Settlement Agreement dated February 15, 2007.  Such a settlement was preliminarily approved by the court with notice of the settlement published in local newspapers and sent to all members of the Holman class and Wardell putative class.  In accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement, we deposited the settlement funds into an escrow account in April 2007.  A Final Approval Hearing is set with the Court for June 11, 2007.  The amount of the settlement was fully accrued and had no material adverse effect on our first quarter 2007 financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (“IEPA”) issued a notice of violation to Equinox Oil Company on September 25, 2001 alleging violation of air emission and permitting regulations for a facility known as the Zif Gas Plant located near Clay City, Illinois.  On January 17, 2007, the IEPA re-issued written notices of these alleged violations in the name of Equinox’s successors in interest, and our subsidiaries, Elysium Energy, LLC and Noble Energy Production, Inc. On March 16, 2007, the IEPA accepted Noble Energy Production’s and Elysium’s compliance commitment agreement wherein the companies agreed to pay a delayed permit fee, install an incineration/caustic scrubber emissions control system at the site, and fund a supplemental environmental project (“SEP”) in the nearby community.  At this time, we expect no additional monies to be expended other than these amounts.  However, the matter will remain open until the emissions control system is constructed and operating within IEPA parameters and the SEP is completed, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2007.

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We are involved in various legal proceedings, including the foregoing matters, in the ordinary course of business.  These proceedings are subject to the uncertainties inherent in any litigation.  We are defending ourselves vigorously in all such matters and we do not believe that the ultimate disposition of such proceedings will have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-Q filed Nov 3, 2006.

ITEM 1.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Refer to Note 13 - Commitments and Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements.

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-Q filed Aug 4, 2006.
Legal Proceedings — The ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court in Rogers v. Westerman Farm Co. in July 2001 resulted in uncertainty regarding the deductibility of certain post-production costs from payments to be made to royalty interest owners. In January 2003, Patina was named as a defendant in a lawsuit, which plaintiff sought to certify as a class action, based upon the Rogers ruling alleging that Patina had improperly deducted certain costs in connection with its calculation of royalty payments relating to its Wattenberg field operations and seeking monetary damages (Jack Holman, et al v. Patina Oil & Gas Corporation; Case No. 03-CV-09; District Court, Weld County, Colorado). In May 2004, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint narrowing the class of potential plaintiffs, and thereafter filed a motion seeking to certify the narrowed class as described in the amended complaint. Patina filed an answer to the amended complaint. A motion seeking class certification was heard on September 22, 2005 and granted on October 13, 2005. The Colorado Supreme Court denied our petition for review on November 23, 2005. The matter has been set for trial scheduled to commence April 24, 2007.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) issued a notice of violation to Equinox Oil Company on September 25, 2001 alleging violation of air emission and permitting regulations for a facility known as the Zif Gas Plant located near Clay City, Illinois.  Elysium Energy, LLC acquired Equinox, and Elysium subsequently was acquired by Patina.  The facility is a small amine-processing unit used to treat and remove hydrogen sulfide from natural gas prior to transportation.  The notice of violation alleges violation of permit requirements under the Clean Air Act dating back to 1986 as well as excessive hydrogen sulfide emissions at the plant.  We are cooperatively working with the IEPA staff to address this matter and have received a permit to allow the installation of remediation equipment. It is within the discretion of the IEPA to assess a fine for violating emission and permit regulations.  However, we have not been assessed a fine or other penalty at this time.

 

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We are involved in various legal proceedings, including the foregoing matters, in the ordinary course of business.  These proceedings are subject to the uncertainties inherent in any litigation.  The company is defending itself vigorously in all such matters and we do not believe that the ultimate disposition of such proceedings will have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-Q filed May 3, 2006.

ITEM 1. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Refer to Note 13 - Commitments and Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements.

 

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-K filed Mar 3, 2006.

Item 3.    Legal Proceedings.

 The ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court in Rogers v. Westerman Farm Co. in July 2001 resulted in uncertainty regarding the deductibility of certain post-production costs from payments to be made to royalty interest owners. In January 2003, Patina was named as a defendant in a lawsuit, which plaintiff sought to certify as a class action, based upon the Rogers ruling alleging that Patina had improperly deducted certain costs in connection with its calculation of royalty payments relating to its Wattenberg field operations (Jack Holman, et al v. Patina Oil & Gas Corporation; Case No. 03-CV-09; District Court, Weld County, Colorado). In May 2004, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint narrowing the class of potential plaintiffs, and thereafter filed a motion seeking to certify the narrowed class as described in the amended complaint. Patina filed an answer to the amended complaint. A motion seeking class certification was heard on September 22, 2005 and granted on October 13, 2005. The Colorado Supreme Court denied the Company's petition for review on November 23, 2005.

 The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) issued a notice of violation to Equinox Oil Company on September 25, 2001 alleging violation of air emission and permitting regulations for a facility known as the Zif Gas Plant located near Clay City, Illinois. Elysium Energy, LLC acquired Equinox, and Elysium subsequently was acquired by Patina. The facility is a small amine processing unit used to treat and remove hydrogen sulfide from natural gas prior to transportation. The notice of violation alleges violation of permit requirements under the Clean Air Act dating back to 1986 as well as excessive hydrogen sulfide emissions at the plant. The Company is cooperatively working with the IEPA staff to address this matter. It is within the discretion of the IEPA to assess a fine for violating emission and permit regulations but the Company has not been assessed a fine or other penalty at this time.

 The Company and its subsidiaries are involved in various legal proceedings, including the foregoing matters, in the ordinary course of business. These proceedings are subject to the uncertainties inherent in any litigation. The Company is defending itself vigorously in all such matters and does not believe that the ultimate disposition of such proceedings will have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity.

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-Q filed Nov 4, 2005.

ITEM 1.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Refer to “Note 15 - Commitments and Contingencies” to the consolidated financial statements.

 

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-Q filed Aug 4, 2005.

ITEM 1.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Refer to “Note 15 - Commitments and Contingencies” to the consolidated financial statements.

 

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-Q filed May 6, 2005.

ITEM 1.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Refer to “Note 12 - Commitments and Contingencies” to the consolidated condensed financial statements.

 

 

This excerpt taken from the NBL 10-K filed Mar 14, 2005.
Legal Proceedings – The Company and its subsidiaries are involved in various legal proceedings in the ordinary course of business. These proceedings are subject to the inherent uncertainties in any litigation. The Company is defending itself vigorously in all such matters and does not believe that the ultimate disposition of such proceedings will have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity.

 

On October 15, 2002, Noble Gas Marketing, Inc. and Samedan Oil Corporation, collectively referred to as the “Noble Defendants,” filed proofs of claim in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in response to bankruptcy filings by Enron Corporation and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates, including ENA, under

 

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Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The proofs of claim relate to certain natural gas sales agreements and aggregate approximately $12 million.

 

On December 13, 2002, ENA filed a complaint in which it objected to the Noble Defendants’ proofs of claim, sought recovery of approximately $60 million from the Noble Defendants under the natural gas sales agreements, sought declaratory relief in respect of the offset rights of the Noble Defendants and sought to invalidate the arbitration provisions contained in certain of the agreements at issue.

 

On January 13, 2003, the Noble Defendants filed an answer to ENA’s complaint. On January 29, 2003, the Noble Defendants filed the Motion of Noble Energy Marketing, Inc., as Successor to Noble Gas Marketing, Inc., and Noble Energy, Inc., as Successor to Samedan Oil Corporation, to Compel Arbitration. On March 4, 2003, the Court issued its Order Governing Mediation of Trading Cases and Appointing the Honorable Allan L. Gropper as Mediator (the “Mediation Order”) which, among other things, abated this case and referred it to mediation along with other pending adversary proceedings in the Enron bankruptcy cases which involve disputes arising from or in connection with commodity trading contracts. Pursuant to the Mediation Order, the Honorable Allan L. Gropper (United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York) has acted as mediator for this case and the other trading cases which have been referred to him. Mediation sessions for this case were held on December 17, 2003 and May 21, 2004.  In January 2005, the parties reached a preliminary settlement of matters in dispute subject to the approval of ENA’s internal committees, the board of directors of Enron Corp., and the United States Bankruptcy Court. The proposed settlement, if approved, will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity. The Company was adequately reserved for this settlement and there will be no resulting gain or loss.

 

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