Gas firm gets partial win in condemnation lawsuit

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal judge has given another win to a Nebraska gas firm in the condemnation of more than 9,100 acres in south-central Kansas.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot on Tuesday granted partial summary judgment to Northern Natural Gas, in a decades-old legal fight stemming from gas seeping from an underground storage facility.

The court found Northern obtained exclusive possession of the underground formations under all but one of the properties on March 30, 2012.

More than 173 property owners hold some interest in the contested land spanning Pratt, Kingman and Reno counties.

The legal maneuvering comes in the wake of a 2010 decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission giving Northern the authority to expand its Cunningham Storage Field in Kansas.