Sitting for the court: Justice Paul W. Green, Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Justice Phil Johnson, Justice David Medina, Justice Dale Wainwright, Justice Don R. Willett, Justice Scott A. Brister, Justice Harriet O'Neill
In re Gulf Exploration LLC, et al.
from Midland County and the 11th District Court of Appeals, Eastland
For relators: James M. Chaney, Oklahoma City
For real party in interest: Brad Miller, Midland
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the principal issues are whether the court of appeals had jurisdiction to review a trial court order compelling arbitration and, if so, whether the appeals court erred by vacating the order on grounds that claims were outside the scope of the arbitration clause. In this case working interest partners in an oil- and gas-development agreement moved to arbitrate their claim that the operating partner, Great Western, used an acquired lease adjacent to the development tract to drill offset wells that drew from the reservoir subject to their development agreement and that, under the operating agreement, the operating partners should have been given a right to participate. The agreement included an arbitration provision covering claims over areas of “mutual interest.” The trial court granted the arbitration motion, but the court of appeals in a mandamus action ordered the trial court to rescind the arbitration order because the claim was beyond the scope of the arbitration provision.