Texas Lawbook recently featured comments from Partner Geoffrey H. Bracken regarding the decade-long business dispute between two Texas oil and gas tycoons, T. Boone Pickens and J. Cleo Thompson. Mr. Bracken represents J. Cleo Thompson in the case, which is currently in its fourth week of trial.
T. Boone Pickens’ company, Mesa Petroleum Partners, sued J. Cleo Thompson and three Midland-based exploration and production companies – Baytech, Delaware Basin Resources and Patriot Resources – for allegedly violating the terms of an investment contract potentially worth up to $1 billion. Pickens is accusing the energy firms of conspiring together to cheat him out of ownership interests and profits involving more than 160 wells in West Texas’ Reeves and Pecos counties. However, J. Cleo Thompson and the three energy firms deny the allegations and claim that Pickens said he wanted out on all areas of the project except for the Lyda Well. The defense attorneys argue that it has evidence that Mesa acknowledged it was selling all of its interests in the Red Bull area except for the Lyda Well.
Mr. Bracken told jurors that the only bills Mesa is continuing to pay involves the company’s interests in the Lyda Well. “They knew what they were being billed for, and that they were only paying for the Lyda charges. Otherwise, why not pay the entire bill? If [they] knew they owned more and were only being billed for the Lyda portion for the last five years, shouldn’t [they] pick up the phone and find out?” Mr. Bracken stated that J. Cleo Thompson and Baytech “did not hear a peep” from Pickens during the years when oil and gas prices were low but only heard from him when oil prices surged in 2014.
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