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Kan. court upholds $33M deal in gas royalties case

Published on -1/11/2013, 1:35 PM

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld a $33 million settlement in a lawsuit from property owners who thought a Texas company wasn't paying them enough for the natural gas pumped from their land.

The court issued a unanimous decision Friday against a property owner who thought the 2009 settlement with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. wasn't generous enough.

The case began in 1998, when holders of leases for gas in the huge Hugoton field in southwest Kansas sued Anadarko in Stevens County, claiming it had underpaid royalties. The case eventually covered 6,000 royalty owners.

But royalty owner Stan Boles objected after District Judge Tom Smith approved the settlement, saying the company should pay roughly $149 million.

The Supreme Court said Smith didn't abuse his authority in declaring the settlement fair.

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