Journey Acquisition-II, L.P. v. EQT Prod.Co., No. 15-5966 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 2001, EQT sold or leased to Journey several oil- and natural-gas-producing properties in Kentucky. Both parties continued to conduct oil and natural-gas operations in the state, but Journey later concluded that EQT was operating on some of the lands that had been conveyed to Journey. Journey sought a declaration that it owned or controlled those properties and that EQT was liable for the oil and natural gas that EQT had removed from those properties. The district court concluded on summary judgment that the parties’ 2001 contract had unambiguously conveyed the disputed properties to Journey. A jury found that EQT’s trespasses on Journey’s lands were not in good faith. The court subsequently required EQT to pay $14,288,432 in damages and transfer certain oil and natural-gas wells to Journey. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that the district court erred in construing the parties’ contract, in excluding portions of EQT’s proffered evidence, and in crafting the remedy for EQT’s trespasses. EQT carried out its drilling despite obvious indicators that its ownership of the underlying property was doubtful, establishing an ample basis to conclude that EQT’s trespasses were not in good faith.