The law firm of Wohl & Fruchter LLP has commenced an investigation into potential claims of unitholders of SandRidge Mississippian Trust I (Trust I) (NSYE:SDT) and SandRidge Mississippian Trust II (Trust II) (NSYE:SDR) against SandRidge Energy, Inc. (SandRidge) (NYSE:SD) and the trustees of Trust I and Trust II (Trusts).
The Trusts are Delaware statutory trusts to which SandRidge conveyed royalty interests in certain oil and natural gas wells (Trust Wells) operated by SandRidge in the Mississippian formation in Oklahoma and Kansas. The royalty interests entitle the Trusts to receive varying percentages of the proceeds from the sale of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids produced by the Trust Wells.
Under the terms of the conveyances pursuant to which the royalty interests were granted to the Trusts, SandRidge is obligated to act as a reasonably prudent operator, and thus operate the Trust Wells in the same manner as it would operate its own fully-owned wells under the same or similar circumstances.
On March 14, 2014, the Trusts filed their 2013 annual reports on Form 10-K, which contained updated reports of proved reserves for the Trust Wells. The reports showed continued deterioration in proved reserves due in part to poor well performance.
The 2013 Form 10-K of Trust II also disclosed that certain wells drilled by SandRidge on behalf of Trust II during 2013 were on locations different than those included in the reserve report prepared as of December 31, 2012. This “swap” resulted in a further downward revision in proved reserves.
Wohl & Fruchter’s investigation concerns whether SandRidge has breached duties owed to the Trusts, as well as acted in bad faith by, among other things, failing to act as a reasonably prudent operator with respect to its operation of the Trust Wells; and improperly changing the wells subject to Trust II’s royalty interest.