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From our archives: Plaintiffs win $66 million from Shell Oil

Royal Dutch Shell evasion of royalties: Plaintiffs win $66 million from Shell Oil after making the mistake of relying on Shell’s “honesty and integrity”:

“Shell told us [in 1995] that if we didn’t want to accept a nuisance value settlement, they would drag the case out and my clients would be dead before they ever got the money,” said Calvert. “They ended up being partly right.”

Sat May 17, 2008

NEWSOK.COM: Shell weighs appeal in royalty case

By Jack Money

Shell Oil Co. is weighing an appeal of a $66 million verdict this month by a Stephens County jury in a royalties payment case, company officials said Friday.

The verdict stems from a case where five women claimed they were owed royalties that had not been paid since the early 1970s.

Background to case

The royalties involved a well on a 20-acre lease in a 640-acre unit between Ardmore and Duncan. The area is one of old production, in which more than 100 wells have been drilled. read more

Plaintiffs win $66 million from Shell Oil after making the mistake of relying on Shell’s “honesty and integrity”

The verdict awards the plaintiffs about $13 million for owed interest payments of about $1 million, plus interest, and $53 million in punitive damages. Calvert said his clients were relying on Shell, then Maynard's, honesty and integrity.

"When someone gets a statement from an oil company, it is very difficult to discover if something has been concealed or hidden,” he said. "So, there is a certain amount of trust required by the system, and Shell breached that trust.”

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