Barcas settles Bakken pipeline suit against ONEOK Partners
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Friday, March 15, 2013
Barcas LLC is settling a Tulsa County lawsuit alleging that ONEOK Partners LP violated terms of an ill-fated, $1.8 billion deal to build a crude oil pipeline from the Bakken Shale to the Cushing storage hub in central Oklahoma.
A press release Friday from Houston-based Barcas said it had entered into a confidential settlement with Tulsa-based ONEOK Partners. Barcas filed the lawsuit in September, alleging that its Tulsa counterpart in the joint venture was in breach of contract, committed possible fraud and unjustly tried to enrich itself. ONEOK Partners scrapped plans for the $1.8 million Bakken Crude Express two months after the lawsuit.
“As part of the confidential settlement, Barcas has retracted all allegations of wrongdoing by ONEOK Partners, including, but not limited to, all charges that ONEOK Partners personnel misrepresented any facts,” the Barcas statement reads.
“Additionally, the parties have dismissed their respective claims against each other,” the Houston firm added. “The terms of the settlement include a reimbursement to Barcas of expenses it incurred in the development of the project.”
Barcas originally had sued for damages in excess of $10 million, The two companies had worked together since early 2012 on developing the 1,300-mile pipeline project and trying to secure long-term commitments from oil producers in the liquids-rich Bakken Shale fields.
At some point, the lawsuit alleged, ONEOK Partners “cut Barcas out of the equation” by secretly initiating its own contacts with third-party customers.
ONEOK Partners denied any wrongdoing.