Form 8-K HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST For: Sep 20

September 20, 2021 12:13 PM EDT

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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 

 

FORM 8-K

 

 

CURRENT REPORT

PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of report (Date of earliest event reported): September 20, 2021

 

 

HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

Texas

(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation)

 

1-10476   58-6379215

(Commission

File Number)

 

(IRS Employer

Identification No.)

 

Simmons Bank

Trustee

2911 Turtle Creek Blvd, Suite 850

Dallas, Texas

  75219
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)   (Zip Code)

(855) 588-7839

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

NONE

(Former Name or Former Address, if Changed Since Last Report)

 

 

Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions (see General Instruction A.2. below):

 

Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)

 

Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)

 

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))

 

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Trading symbol

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Units of Beneficial Interest   HGTXU   OTCQB

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).

Emerging growth company  ☐

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐

 

 

 


Item 2.02. Results of Operations and Financial Condition.

On September 20, 2021, the Registrant issued a news release announcing that it will not declare a monthly cash distribution for the month of September 2021. A copy of the news release is furnished as Exhibit 99.1.

The information in this Current Report, including the news release attached hereto, is being furnished pursuant to Item 2.02 of Form 8-K and shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or otherwise subject to liabilities of that Section.

Item 9.01. Financial Statements and Exhibits.

(d) Exhibits.

 

Exhibit 99.1    News Release dated September 20, 2021

 

2


SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

 

    HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST
    By:   SIMMONS BANK, TRUSTEE
Date: September 20, 2021     By:  

/s/    NANCY WILLIS        

      Nancy Willis
      Vice President
    EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION
    By:  

/s/    DAVID LEVY        

      David Levy
      Vice President – Upstream Business Services

 

3

EXHIBIT 99.1

[NEWS RELEASE LETTERHEAD OF HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST APPEARS HERE]

HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST

DECLARES NO SEPTEMBER CASH DISTRIBUTION

Dallas, Texas, September 20, 2021 – Simmons Bank, as Trustee of the Hugoton Royalty Trust (OTCQB: HGTXU) (the “Trust”), today declared there would not be a cash distribution to the holders of its units of beneficial interest for September 2021 due to the excess cost positions on all three of the Trust’s conveyances of net profits interests. The following table shows underlying gas sales and average prices attributable to the net overriding royalty for both the current month and prior month. Underlying gas sales volumes attributable to the current month were primarily produced in July.

 

     Underlying Gas Sales
Volumes (Mcf) (a)
     Average Gas
Price per Mcf
 
     Total      Daily  

Current Month

     877,000        28,000      $ 4.23  

Prior Month

     878,000        29,000      $ 3.73  

 

(a)

Sales volumes are recorded in the month the Trust receives the related net profits income. Because of this, sales volumes may fluctuate from month to month based on the timing of cash receipts.

XTO Energy has advised the Trustee that it has included oil sales volumes of approximately 6,000 barrels from the new horizontal wells drilled in Major County, Oklahoma and has deducted development costs of $18,000, production expense of $1,458,000 and overhead of $1,064,000 in determining the royalty calculation for the Trust for the current month.

Agreement to Sell Trust Assets

On July 2, 2021 the Trustee announced that it has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with XTO Energy pursuant to which XTO Energy would acquire for $6,600,000 in cash the net overriding royalty interest created pursuant to the net profits interest conveyances held by the Trust and certain other assets constituting substantially all of the assets of the Trust.

The consummation of the sale of the assets is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including approval of the sale from holders of units of beneficial interest in the Trust (“Units”) holding Units representing eighty percent (80%) or more of all the Units outstanding, or a final judicial determination authorizing the Trustee to consummate the sale of the assets. The Trustee intends to call a special meeting of Unit holders for the purpose of approving the sale of assets.


Execution of the purchase and sale agreement followed a process previously announced by the Trust whereby the Trustee had engaged a third party to market the Trust’s assets.

Expense Reserve

The expense reserve used to pay administrative expenses in the absence of current month distributions was depleted in October 2020. As a result, Simmons Bank, the Trustee, is currently paying the expenses for the Trust, subject to its rights to be indemnified and reimbursed pursuant to the terms of the Trust indenture. However, there is nothing in the Trust indenture that requires Simmons Bank to pay the expenses for the Trust. The right to indemnification would include proceeds received from a sale of the Trust’s assets, if any.

Excess Costs

XTO Energy has advised the Trustee that $29,000 of excess costs were recovered on properties underlying the Kansas net profits interests. However, after the partial recovery, there were no remaining proceeds from the properties underlying the Kansas net profits interests to be included in the current month’s distribution. Underlying cumulative excess costs remaining on the Kansas net profits interests total $3,616,000, including accrued interest of $412,000.

XTO Energy has advised the Trustee that $1,055,000 of excess costs were recovered on properties underlying the Oklahoma net profits interests. However, after the partial recovery, there were no remaining proceeds from the properties underlying the Oklahoma net profits interests to be included in the current month’s distribution. Underlying cumulative excess costs remaining on the Oklahoma net profits interests total $19,796,000, including accrued interest of $2,235,000. This balance does not include the approximately $14.6 million of additional production costs the Panel determined could be charged in the second interim final award of the Chieftain arbitration.

XTO Energy has advised the Trustee that $459,000 of excess costs were recovered on properties underlying the Wyoming net profits interests. However, after the partial recovery, there were no remaining proceeds from the properties underlying the Wyoming net profits interests to be included in the current month’s distribution. Underlying cumulative excess costs remaining on the Wyoming net profits interests total $3,185,000, including accrued interest of $272,000.


Arbitration

As previously disclosed, XTO Energy advised the Trustee that it reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in the Chieftain class action royalty case. On July 27, 2018, the final plan of allocation was approved by the court. Based on the final plan of allocation, XTO Energy advised the Trustee that it believes approximately $24.3 million in additional production costs should be allocated to the Trust. On May 2, 2018, the Trustee submitted a demand for arbitration seeking a declaratory judgment that the Chieftain settlement is not a production cost and that XTO Energy is prohibited from charging the settlement as a production cost under the conveyance or otherwise reducing the Trust’s payments now or in the future as a result of the Chieftain litigation. The Trust and XTO Energy conducted the interim hearing on the claims related to the Chieftain settlement on October 12-13, 2020. In the arbitration, the Trustee contended that the approximately $24.3 million allocation related to the Chieftain settlement was not a production cost and, therefore, there should not be a related adjustment to the Trust’s share of net proceeds. However, XTO Energy contended that the approximately $24.3 million was a production cost and should reduce the Trust’s share of net proceeds.

On January 20, 2021, the arbitration panel issued its Corrected Interim Final Award (i) “reject[ing] the Trust’s contention that XTO has no right under the Conveyance to charge the Trust with amounts XTO paid under section 1.18(a)(i) as royalty obligations to settle the Chieftain litigation” and (ii) stating “[t]he next phase will determine how much of the Chieftain settlement can be so charged, if any of it can be, in the exercise of the right found by the Panel.” Following briefing by both parties, on May 18, 2021, the Panel issued its second interim final award over the amount of XTO Energy’s settlement in the Chieftain class action lawsuit that can be charged to the Trust as a production cost. The Panel in its decision has ruled that out of the $80 million settlement, the “Trust is obligated to pay its share under the Conveyance of the $48 million that was received by the plaintiffs in the Chieftain lawsuit by virtue of the settlement of that litigation. The Trust is not obligated by the Conveyance to pay any share of the $32 million received by the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Chieftain lawsuit by virtue of the settlement.” XTO Energy and the Trustee are in the process of determining the portion of the $48 million that is allocable to Trust properties to be charged as an excess cost to the Trust, but estimate it to be approximately $14.6 million.

The Oklahoma conveyance is already currently subject to excess costs that will need to be recovered prior to any distribution to unitholders. Therefore, the reduction in the Trust’s share of net proceeds from the portion of the settlement amount the Panel has ruled may be charged against the Oklahoma conveyance would result in additional excess costs under the Oklahoma conveyance that would likely result in no distributions under the Oklahoma conveyance for several additional years while these additional excess costs are recovered. This award completes the portion of the arbitration related to the Chieftain settlement.


Other Trustee claims related to disputed amounts on the computation of the Trust’s net proceeds for 2014 through 2016 were bifurcated from the initial arbitration and will be heard at a later date, which is still to be determined. Pursuant to the purchase and sale agreement entered into between the Trustee and XTO Energy, the parties have agreed to stay the arbitration from the date of execution of the purchase and sale agreement to the earlier of the termination of the purchase and sale agreement or closing date of the sale of assets. The Panel has stayed proceedings.

For more information on the Trust, please visit our web site at www.hgt-hugoton.com.

Statements made in this press release regarding future events or conditions are forward looking statements. Actual future results, including closing of the sale, development costs and future net profits, could differ materially due to the ability to obtain Unit holder or court approval of the sale, changes in natural gas prices and other economic conditions affecting the gas industry and other factors described in Part I, Item 1A of the Trust’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020.

*        *        *

 

Contact:   

Nancy Willis

Vice President

Simmons Bank, Trustee

855-588-7839



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