Chronicle Journal: Finance

Hugoton Royalty Trust Declares No December Cash Distribution

DALLAS, Dec. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 December 2020 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 October.



 

Underlying Gas Sales





Volumes (Mcf) (a)


Average Gas



Total


Daily


Price per Mcf








Current Month


1,062,000


34,000


$2.38

Prior Month


823,000


27,000


$2.51








(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 13,000 barrels from the new horizontal wells drilled in Major County, Oklahoma and has deducted development costs of $315,000, production expense of $2,061,000 and overhead of $897,000 in determining the royalty calculation for the Trust for the current month.

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, as Trustee of Hugoton Royalty Trust, 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. This includes reimbursement from proceeds received from a sale of the Trust's assets, if any. The Trustee has engaged a third party to market the Trust's assets; however, there can be no assurance that a buyer can be found for such assets. Any material sale of assets and/or termination of the Trust requires at least 80% unitholder approval.

Excess Costs
XTO Energy has advised the Trustee that $75,000 of excess costs were recovered on properties underlying the Kansas net profits interests primarily due to out of period refunds and credits. 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 $3,331,000, including accrued interest of $327,000.

XTO Energy has advised the Trustee that excess costs were $598,000 on properties underlying the Oklahoma net profits interests. Underlying cumulative excess costs remaining on the Oklahoma net profits interests total $25,587,000, including accrued interest of $1,654,000.

XTO Energy has advised the Trustee that excess costs were $321,000 on properties underlying the Wyoming net profits interests. Underlying cumulative excess costs remaining on the Wyoming net profits interests total $5,078,000, including accrued interest of $164,000.

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 has 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 interim hearing on the claims related to the Chieftain settlement was conducted on October 12-13, 2020. A decision on the outcome is expected in the first quarter 2021. 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.

If the Trustee prevails on the claims related to the $24.3 million in alleged additional production costs in connection with the Chieftain settlement, there will be no adjustment to the Trust's share of net proceeds. If XTO Energy prevails as to those same claims, there will be an adjustment of approximately $24.3 million reducing the Trust's share of net proceeds. The Oklahoma conveyance is already currently subject to excess costs that will need to be recovered prior to any distribution to unitholders. Therefore, an adjustment of approximately $24.3 million reducing the Trust's share of net proceeds 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.

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 development costs and future net profits, could differ materially due to 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, 2019.

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hugoton-royalty-trust-declares-no-december-cash-distribution-301196048.html

SOURCE Hugoton Royalty Trust

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