March 04, 2021 - An investor in shares of Range Resources Corporation (NYSE: RRC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania over alleged violations of Federal Securities Laws by Range Resources Corporation in connection with certain allegedly false and misleading statements made between April 29, 2016 and February 10, 2021.
Fort Worth, TX based Range Resources Corporation operates as an independent natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and oil company in the United States. Range Resources Corporation reported that its annual Total Revenue declined from $3.33 billion in 2018 to $2.6 billion in 2019, and that its Net Loss declined from $1.74 billion in 2018 to $1.71 billion in 2019.
On February 10 and February 11, 2021, media outlets reported that Range Resources Corporation had paid a $294,000 civil penalty after Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection ( DEP ) found conflicting and inaccurate information on the status of a Company well in Fayette County-specifically concerning whether the well in question was correctly designated as inactive for the purposes of DEP regulation.
On February 10, 2021, Range Resources Corporation announced that it had paid a $294,000 civil penalty to the agency on January 8, 2021 for violating the 2012 Oil and Gas Act. The Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection ( DEP ) had begun investigating the Company after the agency found conflicting and inaccurate information on the status of a Company well in Fayette County, Pennsylvania—specifically concerning whether the well in question was correctly designated as inactive for the purposes of DEP regulation.
After subpoenaing Range Resources for information on other wells the Company had requested to designate as inactive, the DEP found that between Tuesday, July 16, 2013, and Monday, October 11, 2017, 42 of Range Resources' conventional wells were placed on inactive status but were never used again and that several of the Company's wells had not been in use for 12 months at the time Range Resources submitted its applications for inactive status, even though after 12 consecutive months of no production, the well would be classified as abandoned and must be plugged. In addition to paying the DEP's civil penalty, Range Resources was ultimately required to plug the wells the agency identified as having no viable future use to remediate the issue.
According to the complaint the plaintiff alleges on behalf of purchasers of Range Resources Corporation (NYSE: RRC) common shares between April 29, 2016 and February 10, 2021, that the defendants violated Federal Securities Laws. More specifically, the plaintiff claims that between April 29, 2016 and February 10, 2021, the defendants made false and/or misleading statements and failed to disclose to investors that Range Resources had improperly designated the status of its wells in Pennsylvania since at least 2013, that the foregoing conduct subjected the Company to a heightened risk of regulatory investigation and enforcement, as well as artificially decreased the Company's periodically reported cost estimates to plug and abandon its wells, that the Company was the subject of a DEP investigation from sometime between September 2017 to January 2021 for improperly designating the status of its wells, that the DEP investigation foreseeably would and ultimately did lead to the Company incurring regulatory fines; and that as a result, the Company's public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.