|Houston Energy Lawyer John Zavitsanos in The Houston Business Journal article |
More litigation in the pipeline over shale plays
|July 9, 2012 11:42 pm|
The Houston Business Journal:
The recent $162 million South Texas jury award made in an Eagle Ford Shale-related business dispute may be just the first rumblings of a gusher of litigation.
Texas lawyers say they're expecting a flood of lawsuits as energy companies, property owners and anyone else with a vested interest in the red-hot petroleum formation wrangle for a cut of its escalating revenues.
James Summers, a longtime San Antonio oil-and-gas lawyer, is litigating three Eagle Ford-related cases this year. Last year, he litigated none.
John Zavitsanos, a partner in the Houston law firm of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing PC, said so far there has not been a large number of shale-related cases making it to court, but many expect an uptick in activity.
"A venture that receives a lot of notoriety, like shale exploration, tends to attract all types, including a lot of charlatans who may solicit (uninformed) investors who've heard a lot about (shale). Often, it's hard to tell who is legitimate and who's not," he said. "It also tends to draw a lot of lawyers."
Zavitsanos added that if the price of crude oil drops below $80 per barrel, Texas could see a new wave of litigation.
"Shale is a little more expensive to extract, so returns are not going to be there, which may mean allegations that there were misrepresentations made about rate of returns" that lead to the courthouse, he said.
© 2012 American City Business Journals.
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