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Contracts Keyed to Dawson
Mobil Oil Exploration & Producing Southeast, Inc. v. United States
Citation:530 U.S. 604, 120 S.Ct. 2423.
Plaintiffs leased rights to explore and develop oil off the North Carolina coast from the United States. The plaintiffs received a 10-year renewable lease in return for an upfront “bonus” payment of $156 million to the United States. Pursuant to the lease, plaintiffs could explore for oil and develop any found provided that they received the necessary permissions under various statutes and regulations. In particular, the Department of the Interior needed to approve the plaintiffs’ exploration plan within 30 days of submission. However, the plaintiffs were advised that although there were no issues with the plan, the plan would not be approved for at least 13 months. Ultimately, the plan was never approved or disapproved.
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