HOUSTON, May 23 (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy and Total SA settled hundreds of lawsuits with landowners in Texas’ Barnett Shale play who accused the companies of cheating them out of millions of dollars in royalties, local media reported on Monday.
* Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake and French major Total will pay $52.5 million to settle 400 lawsuits covering 13,000 clients
* Landowners had accused the companies of failing to pay royalties they had agreed to in contracts, including by deducting higher-than-necessary post-production costs from royalty checks
* Chesapeake says “we are pleased to have reached a mutually acceptable resolution... and look forward to further strengthening our relationships with our royalty owners.”
* Settlement is contingent on law firms receiving written approval from 90 percent of clients by mid-July