Image courtesy of Apache Corporation.

Houston-based independent Apache filed a lawsuit Monday against Australia-based investment group Seven Group Holdings and NextEra Energy for breach of contract and violating its right of first offer for a 11.2 percent stake in the Bivins Ranch project.

Seven bought the stake in June from Florida-based NextEra Energy, a minority partner in the Texas panhandle site, for $63.7 million.

Apache alleges that the stake “was and is worth more than what Seven Network paid.”

Apache is seeking damages from NextEra for breach of contract and exemplary damages from Seven for violating Apache’s right to first offer, the Australian said.

The amount of damages sought were not disclosed.

The suit was filed in a Texas court.

In the filing, Apache said NextEra was obligated to inform it of any intention to sell the stake so that Apache could make an offer.

Apache initially presented a $65 million counteroffer. However, NextEra chose to sell its stake to Seven.

Apache’s filing claims that NextEra and Seven signed an exclusivity agreement that did not allow NextEra to consider Apache’s offer.

Apache said that “NextEra’s breach and Seven Network’s willful and intentional interference with Apache’s right of first offer” prevented it from realizing profit on the NextEra stake.

Seven denied the allegations and said it will defend itself against them.

Apache has leased or purchased approximately 96,000 net acres in the Bivins Ranch area, a 200 square mile block in Hartley, Oldham, Potter and Moore counties in the Texas panhandle.

Apache operates all of the leases, most with 73.5 percent working interests.


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