Anderson, et al. v. Hess Corp., No. 10-3116 (8th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The Andersons appealed the grant of summary judgment by the district court in favor of Hess Corporation (Hess), the successor in interest to and lessee of mineral rights on the Andersons' land. The Andersons contended that the district court erred in construing the five leases at issue as requiring Hess to engage in "drilling operations" rather than actual "drilling" in order to extend the primary terms of the leases and granting Hess's motion for summary judgment. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to certify the Andersons' question regarding the meaning of the phrase "engaged in drilling or reworking operations." The court also held that this disputed lease language was not ambiguous and meant "engaged in drilling operations or reworking operations." Therefore, the district court correctly interpreted the disputed lease language and properly granted summary judgment in favor of Hess on the Andersons' quiet title claim.