United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
V. EAGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is defendant Summit Drilling Company,
Inc.'s (Summit) motion for summary judgment (Dkt. # 55).
Summit moves for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff
BDI, LLC's (BDI) breach of contract and negligence claims
are barred by the parties' contract and that BDI has
failed to provide sufficient evidence to support its fraud
claim. Dkt. # 55, at 8-13. BDI responds that it assumed only
reasonably foreseeable risks in the contract, that the
contract does not restrain consequential damages in this
case, and that questions of fact remain as to Summit's
alleged fraudulent misrepresentation. Dkt. # 76, at 10-15.
October 16, 2014, the parties entered into a drilling
contract, under which Summit would drill an oil well in
Richardson County, Nebraska. Dkt. # 55-1, at 1. The contract
is a standard form created by the International Association
of Drilling Contractors (IADC) (Drilling Bid Proposal and
Footage Drilling Contract - U.S. # 14-2114, revised 2003).
See Dkt. # 55-1, at 1. First, the contract provides
When operating on a Daywork Basis,  [Summit] . . . assumes only
the obligations and liabilities stated herein as being
applicable during Daywork operations. Except for such
obligations and liabilities specifically assumed by [Summit],
[BDI] shall be solely responsible and assumes liability for
all consequences of operations by both parties while on a
Daywork Basis, including results and all other risks or
liabilities incurred in or incident to such operations.
Dkt. # 55-1, at 1 (emphasis omitted). The contract also
specifies that “[i]n the event the hole should be lost
or damaged, while [Summit] is working on a Daywork Basis,
[BDI] shall be solely responsible for such damage to or loss
of the hole . . . .” Id. at 4. Additionally,
the contract states that:
it is the intent of the parties hereto that all releases,
indemnity obligations and/or liabilities assumed by such
parties under terms of this Contract . . . be without limit
and without regard to the cause or causes thereof, including
but not limited to . . . any theory of tort, breach of
contract, fault, the negligence of any degree or character, .
. . or any other theory of legal liability.
Id. at 5.
drilled the well to the depth set out in the contract, but
BDI determined that it was likely unproductive and asked
defendant to plug the well. Dkt. # 55, at 5; Dkt. # 76, at 5.
Approximately a year later, BDI hired a different drilling
company to re-open the well by performing a washdown, a
procedure for opening a plugged well by drilling through the
cement plugs. Dkt. # 55, at 2 & n.1. After drilling
through the upper cement plug, the drilling company hit an
object that prevented further drilling. Dkt. # 55-2, at 33.
After hitting the object, BDI president Mark Crawford sent a
text message to Summit employee Scott Miller informing him of
BDI's attempted washdown of the well and asking if Miller
knew anything about a metal object left in the well.
Id. Miller responded:
understand. I will ask. Shouldn't be anything down that
hole other than cement!
I've talked to the guys that are still with us and no one
knows of anything dropped down hole. Unfortunately that
doesn't mean much at this point. If you do identify the
metal, I'd like to know. Especially if it points to us.
That's not the reputation I want to have.
Id. at 33-34. BDI alleges that the object was a
joint of a metal drill pipe left by Summit when it was
plugging the well. Dkt. # 76, at 9. Plaintiff asserts that
the object blocking the well destroyed the well's ability
to effectively produce oil. Id. at 10.
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 is
appropriate where there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322-23 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986); Kendall v. Watkins, 998
F.2d 848, 850 (10th Cir. 1993). The plain language of Rule
56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate
time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an
element essential to that party's case, and on which that
party will bear the burden of proof at trial.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 317. “Summary judgment
procedure is properly regarded not as a disfavored procedural