Positive Ruling for Delta Petroleum in California Offshore Suit
Delta Petroleum announced that the United States Court of Federal Claims on November 15, 2005 issued a ruling granting the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment as to liability and partial summary judgment as to damages in the breach of contract lawsuit Amber Resources Company et al. v. United States, Case No. 2-30. The court's ruling also denied the United States' motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment. The ruling had originally been filed by the Court under seal, which was removed today. Delta is among the twelve plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
The United States Court of Federal Claims ruled that the federal government's imposition of new and onerous requirements that stood as a significant obstacle to oil and gas development breached agreements that it made when it sold 36 federal leases offshore California. The Court further ruled that the Government must give back to the current lessees the more than $1.1 billion in lease bonuses it had received at the time of sale.
Delta and its subsidiary, Amber Resources Company, are among the current lessees of the 36 leases. Delta and Amber's net share of the $1.1 billion award is approximately $121 million. The final ruling in the case will not be made until the Court addresses the plaintiffs' additional claims regarding four additional leases, as well as their claims regarding the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent in the successful efforts to find oil and gas in the disputed lease area, and other matters. The final ruling, including the rulings made on November 15, will be subject to appeal, and no payments will be made until all appeals have either been waived or exhausted.