Delta Petroleum Files Lawsuit Against U.S. Government
Delta Petroleum Corporation, together with several other companies owning interests in forty undeveloped federal Outer Continental Shelf leases located several miles off the coast of California, filed a lawsuit yesterday alleging that the U.S. Government has materially breached their leases. The Complaint, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., is based on the fact that post-leasing amendments to a federal statute governing offshore activities have now been interpreted to alter significantly the companies' rights and ability to move forward with further exploration and development activities. In addition, the Government has failed to carry out its own obligations under the leases, resulting in substantial delays and interference in the companies' exploration and development efforts.
The forty undeveloped leases are located in the Offshore Santa Maria Basin off the coast of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and in the Santa Barbara Channel off Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
The suit seeks compensation for the lease bonuses and rentals paid to the Federal Government, exploration costs, and related expenses. The total amount claimed by all lessees for bonuses and rentals exceeds $1.2 billion with additional amounts for exploration costs and related expenses. Delta's claim (including the claim of its subsidiary Amber Resources Company) for lease bonuses and rentals paid by Delta and its predecessors is in excess of $152,000,000. In addition, its claim for exploration costs and related expenses will also be substantial.