Windsor Energy Group, LLC v. Noble Energy, Inc.Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was a joint operating agreement (JOA) for Wyoming oil and gas interests entered into in 2000 by the predecessors in interest to Windsor Energy Group, LLC and Windsor Beaver Creek, LLC (together, Windsor) and Noble Energy, Inc. (Noble). In 2004, Noble’s predecessor assigned its interest to another party. In 2010, Windsor filed suit against Noble’s predecessor, claiming it was obligated for costs under the JOA. The district court ruled (1) an assignor of an interest who was not formally released was still obligated under the JOA, but (2) Windsor’s claim against Noble for breach of the JOA was barred by laches. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment without addressing the contract issue, holding that the district court (1) did not err in ruling that the equitable doctrine of laches was an available defense to Windsor’s claim for breach of the JOA even though the statute of limitations had not expired; and (2) did not abuse its discretion by finding the elements of laches were satisfied in this case.