Dallas, Fort Worth suing Chesapeake Energy

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by CHRIS HAWES / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on December 21, 2009 at 11:05 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 21 at 11:20 PM

The cities of Fort Worth and Dallas are suing Chesapeake Energy.

The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board claims Chesapeake shorted the airport several million dollars.

Not long ago, a news release predicted drilling at the airport would bolster growth for decades. Now, D/FW officials have told a judge Chesapeake has ceased all drilling and ignored its obligations.

The money D/FW Airport has received from natural gas drilling on its land has been used for everything from terminal renovations to new restrooms. The bonus alone was $185 million. Now, D/FW says it has been shortchanged.

"Chesapeake has ignored its royalty pricing obligations," stated an October-dated letter to Chesapeake from the airport board's attorney.

The board claims the driller has been selling to the same company for a price below the highest market value. D/FW estimates it is owed " at least $6,624,525.60 ... for the period September 2007 through December 2008."

A mediation between the companies failed. This month, the D/FW Airport Board -- along with its owner cities of Dallas and Fort Worth --  asked for damages and attorney fees.
   
In past letters to D/FW, Chesapeake maintained that it has followed the contract, saying the two sides have dramatically different views of the case.

The judge in the case has set a trial date for October of next year.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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