Statoil Class Action Settlement Website
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WELCOME TO THE STATOIL CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT WEBSITE

Update (10/23/20): The hearing on the fairness of Settlement and related matters has been continued to December 15, 2020, at 10:30 a.m., and will be conducted in person.

A proposed Settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against Statoil USA Onshore Properties Inc. (“Statoil”).

This website has been established to provide general information related to the proposed settlement of the lawsuit referred to as Rescigno v. Statoil USA Onshore Properties Inc., Civil Action No. 3:16-cv-00085-MEM (the “Action”), which is pending before the Honorable Malachy E. Mannion in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (the “Court”). The capitalized terms used on this website, and not otherwise defined, shall have the same meanings ascribed to them in the Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement (the "Stipulation") filed on March 6, 2020, which can be found and downloaded here.

The law firms of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, The Clark Law Firm, PC and Chitwood Harley Harnes LLP represent you and other Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. They will be paid from the Settlement Fund to the extent the Court approves their application for fees and expenses. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?

The lawsuit alleges that Statoil engaged in the underpayment of royalty payments pursuant to certain oil and gas leases on the production of natural gas in Pennsylvania.  Statoil denies these allegations and intends to oppose such allegations in the absence of this Settlement.  Statoil enters into this Settlement in an effort to further its relationship with its lessors and resolve the claims alleged.

The Class is defined as Royalty Owners in Northern Pennsylvania who have entered into oil and gas leases, regardless of the type of lease, that provide that the Royalty Owner is to be paid Royalties and to whom Statoil has (or had) an obligation to pay Royalties on production attributable to Statoil’s working interest.

Excluded from the Class are the following:

  1. Statoil, Statoil’s affiliates, and their respective predecessors and successors;
  2. any person or entity who owns a working interest in the Relevant Leases;
  3. the interest of any Royalty Owner to the extent and for any time period in which that Royalty Owner receives its Royalty in kind;
  4. the interest of any Royalty Owner to the extent and for any time period in which that interest was transferred or assigned to another;
  5. any Royalty Owner who has previously released Statoil from any liability concerning or encompassing any or all Settled Claims;
  6. the federal government;
  7. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
  8. legally-recognized Indian Tribes; and
  9. any person who serves as a judge in this Action and his/her spouse.

Please note that in May, 2018 Statoil changed its name to and is now known as Equinor USA Onshore Properties Inc. (“Equinor”).  All references to Statoil herein should also be construed to apply to Royalty agreements made with Equinor.

WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?

The proposed Settlement will create a cash settlement fund of $7,000,000 (the “Settlement Fund”), plus any interest that may accrue thereon less certain deductions.

The Settlement Fund, subject to deduction for, among other things, costs of class notice and administration and certain taxes and tax-related expenses, as well as attorneys’ fees and expenses, and the amount to Lead Plaintiff in connection with its representation of the Class, as approved by the Court, will be available for distribution to Class Members.  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Although the information on this website is intended to assist you, it does not replace the information contained in the Notice and the Stipulation.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT

REMAIN A CLASS MEMBER

To remain a member of the Class, you do not need to take any action.  Class Members will be able to get money from the proposed Settlement. See Frequently Asked Questions Nos. 6 and 8.

EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT

Deadline: Postmarked by
October 9, 2020

You can exclude yourself from (opt out of) the proposed Settlement and not be bound by the Court’s rulings.  You will also not share in the distribution of monetary relief.  See Frequently Asked Questions Nos. 9 and 10.

OBJECT OR COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT

Deadline: Received by
October 9, 2020

If you are a Class Member, you can appear and object to or comment on the proposed Settlement on your own or through your own lawyer.  See Frequenly Asked Questions Nos. 15 and 18.