California Must Face Bankrupt Venoco Claim Over Oil Assets

Law360 (January 3, 2020, 5:11 PM EST) -- California can't use sovereign immunity as a shield against oil driller Venoco LLC's bankruptcy trustee's allegation that the state is using its former offshore oil platform without paying, a Delaware federal judge ruled Friday.

Affirming a bankruptcy court ruling, U.S. District Judge Colm F. Connolly said a trustee for Venoco can move forward with an adversary claim against the state in its Chapter 11 proceeding in Delaware bankruptcy court.

California and its State Lands Commission made a claim for $130 million against Venoco for decommissioning the platform and said the state plans to use the facilities for five years and collect...

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