Southwestern Decries $11M Royalty For Drilling 'Sweet Spots'

By Jess Krochtengel (October 13, 2015, 8:57 PM EDT) -- A Southwestern Energy unit told the Texas Supreme Court the company should not have to pay $11.4 million to two researchers for allegedly drilling in confidential "sweet spots" they had identified, saying Tuesday no proof supports the outsize damages award.

Southwestern Energy Production Co. said at oral arguments that Toby Berry-Helfand and Gery Muncey relied on faulty expert testimony to support their bid for royalties on wells Southwestern drilled around the "sweet spot" sites. The geological researchers had contended it was Berry-Helfand's own testimony on a 3 percent royalty another company paid her for the same data that supports the jury's...

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