United States District Court, District of Wyoming
ORDER ON KAISER-FRANCIS' MOTION TO DISMISS
DEFENDANT NOBLE CASING'S COUNTERCLAIM AND NOBLE
CASING'S CROSS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
W. Skavdahl United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff
Kaiser-Francis' Motion to Dismiss Defendant
Noble Casing, Inc.'s Counterclaim [ECF No. 28] and
Defendant Noble Casing's Cross-Motion for Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 30]. Having considered the pleadings,
motions, relevant filings, and oral argument, the Court FINDS
and ORDERS as follows:
Kaiser-Francis Oil Company (“Kaiser-Francis”)
filed this action on December 20, 2016, asserting breach of
contract and negligence claims against Defendant Noble Casing
(“Noble”) in addition to claims for breach of
contract, negligence, and breach of implied warranties for
sale of goods against Defendant Baker Hughes Oilfield
Operations (“Baker Hughes”). [ECF No. 1]. These
claims arise from oil and gas work performed on the Shelby
2-034H Well (“the Shelby Well”) in Laramie
County, Wyoming in late 2015.
operates the Shelby Well and was preparing it for a
fifty-stage hydraulic fracturing operation in September 2015.
[ECF No. 1 at 2]. Defendant Baker Hughes sold and supplied
Plaintiff with a pup joint and liner top pack assembly used
to connect the lateral casing liners in the well during the
fracturing operation. [ECF No. 21 at ¶ 8]. A pup joint
is a pipe used to adjust the length of pipe strings while the
liner top pack is designed to provide a reliable seal. This
pup joint liner top was assembled by Baker Hughes in Casper,
Wyoming and delivered to the Shelby Well by Baker Hughes.
[ECF No. 21 at ¶ 9]. Representatives of Baker Hughes
were present at the Shelby Well site on September 7, 2015.
Id. at ¶ 11. Defendant Noble provided the
casing crew and power casing tongs necessary to run the
casing and pup joint liner top assembly at the Shelby Well.
[ECF No. 13 at 2].
October 20, 2015, during the third stage of the fracturing
operation, a leak was detected in the casing of the Shelby
Well which required all fracturing operations to cease. [ECF
No. 1 at ¶ 13]. After extensive fishing operations,
Plaintiff recovered the pup joint liner top assembly and all
pipe above the point of failure. [ECF No. 1 at ¶ 14].
alleges a failure analysis of the recovered pup joint liner
top assembly shows a longitudinal split that occurred within
the deep tong marks on the pipe. [ECF No. 1 at 3]. Plaintiff
alleges the excessively deep tong marks could have only been
made by (1) Baker Hughes while assembling the pup joint liner
top assembly; or (2) Noble when it ran the pup joint liner
top assembly into the Shelby Well using its power tongs. [ECF
No. 1 at 5]. Kaiser-Francis claims it incurred $1.65 million
in costs when it was forced to shut down its operations,
stabilize the Shelby Well, fish out over 8, 000 feet of
casing, and prepare the Shelby Well for another frack job.
1 View of the split after cleaning.
2 Close-up view of the split showing deep tong marks,
indicated by yellow arrows, and shallow tong marks, indicated
by white arrows.
No. 1 at 4].
is no dispute Kaiser-Francis and Noble entered into a Master
Service Agreement (“MSA”), effective August 28,
2015, that governs all work Noble performed for
Kaiser-Francis at the Shelby Well. [ECF No. 25 at ¶ 19].
Relying upon ¶ 9 of the MSA Noble's Amended Answer
asserts a Counterclaim against the Plaintiff alleging
Kaiser-Francis assumed all liability for Noble and agrees to
defend, indemnify, and save Noble harmless against any and
all loss liability, damage, and claims incurred to
Kaiser-Francis' property. [ECF No. 25 at 9]. Plaintiff,
Kaiser-Francis seeks to dismiss Noble's Counterclaim for
failure to state a claim. [ECF No. 28]. Noble has filed a
cross-motion for summary judgment seeking summary judgment on
its counterclaim for indemnification and against
Kaiser-Francis' claims of negligence and breach of
contract. [ECF No. 30].