Natural Gas Monopolization Case
Our attorneys obtained the dismissal of a high profile antitrust lawsuit filed against its client, BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. [(BP)], by David Boies and a team of lawyers at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. The complaint was filed in December 2005 on behalf of the Alaska Gasline Port Authority. It charged that BP, along with ExxonMobil, had conspired for more than 30 years to withhold the enormous natural gas reserves on Alaska's North Slope from the Port Authority and all other parties seeking to build a pipeline to transport this gas to market, as a means to prop up natural gas prices throughout the lower 48 states. BP and ExxonMobil filed separate motions to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule 12(b)(1) and (6), arguing (among other grounds) that the Port Authority lacked antitrust standing to pursue its claims. The court issued its ruling and dismissed the action in its entirety, without granting leave to amend. The court's 14-page opinion adopts virtually every argument in BP's motion, including standing. What potentially could have been an intense and complex case was disposed of in an efficient and expeditious manner, even before the commencement of discovery. The plaintiff is seeking to vacate the judgment and has filed an appeal.