Oklahoma House to Hear Bill Eliminating Fiduciary Duty of Oil Companies, Wellhead Operators

Article excerpt

A measure that would eliminate the fiduciary duty of oil companies and wellhead operators is set to be heard by the Oklahoma House of Representatives for what could be the final time this week.

Spawned by what some lawmakers call a bad decision from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, House Bill 2654 would eliminate oil companies' fiduciary duty to mineral rights owners, said its author, state Rep. Fred Jordan.

"The bill creates a reasonable operating structure," Jordan, R- Jenks, said. "We're working with groups representing mineral owners and representatives of the oil and gas industry to create legislation that's fair to all parties."

On April 16, at least one mineral rights group agreed.

In a media statement members of the group, the Coalition of Oklahoma Surface and Mineral Owners, or COSMO, announced that they would not oppose the bill.

"The Coalition of Oklahoma Surface and Mineral owners wants to thank the governor, her staff, Secretary of State Glenn Coffee, Secretary of Energy Mike Ming and his staff, Senate Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and his leadership team, Speaker Kris Steele and his leadership team and various other legislators for their consideration and understanding of the issues raised by the various stakeholders related to HB 2654," the organization said.

As a result of the work done in finding a solution to the significant differences between stakeholders, COSMO said it would not oppose HB 2654. …