Bice v. Petro-Hunt, L.L.C.

20080265 Virginia Bice, Helen A. and Hillis J. Bice,
Helen A. Bice Life Estate, Naomi Brew,
Patricia Burian Ingman, Myran S. and
Mary C. Burian, Estate of Steve Burian,
Arnold and Sharon Burian, Connie F.
Burian Heck, Jane Elizabeth Kiker,
Elmer L. Glovatsky, Timothy Glovatsky,
Shirley and Lawrence W. Jablonsky,
Leo and Selina Kaiser, Russell L. Kiker,
Russell L. Kiker Trust, Sally A. Kiker Trust,
Ardyce Burian Palaniuk, Irene E. Scott
Mineral Trust, Jane Scott, William D. and
Agnes M. Scott, Ervin and Mildred Waldie,
Gregory Lynn Waldie, Mary M. Weber,
Martin A. Weber, Jerry Zabalotny,
William D. Walters, Jr., Imperial Oil
Company c/o William D. Walters, Jr.,
Lillian Hardcastle a/k/a Lillian Kaiser,
Robert T. Smith, Carrie W. Smith, Plaintiffs and Appellants
Petro-Hunt, L.L.C., J.W. Beavers, Jr.,
as Trustee of William Herbert Hunt
Trust Estate, Defendants and Appellees

Appeal from: District Court, Southwest Judicial District, Billings County
Judge Zane Anderson
Nature of Action: Oil, Gas and Minerals
Appellant: Serkland Law Firm
Appellant: Marvin L. Kaiser
Appellant: Michael J. Maus
Appellant: Owen L. Anderson
Amicus curiae: Debra Lynn Hoffarth
Appellee: John W. Morrison Jr.
Term: 02/2009   Argument: 02/09/2009
ND cite: 2009 ND 124
NW cite: 768 N.W.2d 496

Listen to recording of oral argument in MP3 format

Issues: Appellant's Statement of the Issues:
[1] Whether the district court erred as a matter of law in granting Petro-Hunt's motion for partial summary judgment on April 30, 2007 and in denying Representatives' motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of how royalties should be calculated.
[2] Whether the district court erred as a matter of law in granting Petro-Hunt's motion for summary judgment on July 30, 2008, dismissing Representatives' claims that Petro-Hunt improperly calculated royalty by taking deductions for costs associated with operation of its gas plant in the Little Knife field, including deductions for depreciation and risk capital, and by failing to pay royalty on processed gas used at central tank batteries, the gas plant, and other field installations.
[3] Specifically:
1. Whether the royalty provisions expressly, implicitly, or both expressly and implicitly obligate Petro-Hunt to bear the cost of obtaining a first-marketable product.
2. Whether Petro-Hunt may consume gas that is processed and used off the lease premises free of royalty.
3. Whether Petro-Hunt took excessive depreciation and risk capital deductions on the processing plant when calculating royalty.

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Docket entries:
110/20/2008 NOTICE OF APPEAL: 10/17/2008
210/20/2008 ORDER FOR TRANSCRIPT: 10/17/2008
311/07/2008 TRANSCRIPT DATED JULY 14, 2008
411/07/2008 DISK - TRA of 7-14-08
511/17/2008 RECORD ON APPEAL (10 vols.) & separates 19, 33, 36, 51, 56-66, 121, 137, 138, 141, & 213
611/25/2008 Letter dated November 24, 2008, that defendants elected not to tax costs under NDRCivP 54(e)
711/28/2008 Letter dated November 26, 2008, from Ronald H. McLean regarding costs
812/17/2008 Notice of Appearance of Owen L. Anderson as co-counsel for Appellants
912/17/2008 APPELLANT BRIEF (e-filed)
1012/17/2008 E-FILED BRIEF (ATB)
1112/17/2008 APPELLANT APPENDIX (e-filed)
1212/17/2008 E-FILED APPENDIX (ATA)
1312/18/2008 Received $25 surcharge for ATB & $82.50 for ATA (Receipt #18655)
1412/19/2008 Received 7 copies of ATB from Central Duplicating
1512/19/2008 Received 6 copies of ATA from Central Duplicating
1612/31/2008 DISK - amicus curiae brief of Herbert L. Meschke
1701/02/2009 MOTION FOR Leave to File Amicus Brief
1801/02/2009 ACTION BY CHIEF JUSTICE. Granted
2001/20/2009 APPELLEE BRIEF
2201/20/2009 DISK - AEB
2302/03/2009 REPLY BRIEF (e-filed)
2402/03/2009 E-FILED BRIEF (RYB)
2502/03/2009 Copies of RYB made.
2602/09/2009 APPEARANCES: Owen L. Anderson, Jane L. Dynes, Michael J. Maus; John W. Morrision
2702/09/2009 ARGUED: Anderson; Morrison
3007/09/2009 UNANIMOUS OPINION: Crothers, Daniel John
3107/09/2009 Costs on Appeal taxed in favor of Appellees
3207/10/2009 Judgment E-Mailed to Parties
3308/06/2009 MANDATE

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