Monday 18 November 2019

Hunt Oil launches US lawsuit against Teeling's Clontarf

JEROME REILLY

Directors of Irish exploration company Clontarf Energy, headed up by Dr John Teeling, remain embroiled in litigation with Hunt Oil, one of the last of the big independent oil companies in Texas -- and reputedly the inspiration for the hit TV series Dallas.

Proceedings issued in the US District Court Dallas division by Hunt Oil name Clontarf Energy principals Dr Teeling, David Horgan and James Finn among the defendants in the case, which centres on a failed joint venture involving oil and gas leases in Texan waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hunt Oil entered into a joint agreement with Endeavour Oil & Gas (a then subsidiary of Pan Andean Resources plc) prior to 2007 but the issue of who paid for costs incurred during subsequent exploration projects is at the core of the legal case in the US.

A spokesman for Clontarf Energy said that as the matter was sub-judice the company was not in a position to comment, but referred to a company update provided in the 2011 Clontarf Energy Accounts dated June 21 last.

"On March 14, 2012, Hunt Oil Company ('HOC') filed legal proceedings against Endeavour Oil & Gas Inc ('EOGI'), Petrolex SA and Hydrocarbon Exploration plc claiming that EOGI refused to pay contractual obligations to HOC, arising out of HOC's operation of the High Island 30 oil well. The directors and the group's legal advisers do not believe that the case will succeed and no provision for any liability that might arise has been made.

"Clontarf Energy's lawyers, Brown Rudnick, are moving to have the proceedings dismissed," the update ended.

Hunt Oil was originally founded in the Thirties by Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, known as HL Hunt -- a gambler turned oil prospector who has been described as the "real-life JR Ewing".

A TV interviewer once asked Hunt whether he really earned a million dollars a week.

"I would starve to death with an income of a million dollars a week," he replied.

The New York Times described Hunt, who died in 1974, as an "unconventional renegade" and said the in-fighting of the Hunt family was as "entertaining as any soap opera".

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