Suit seeks lease value where Florida denied drilling

Coastal Petroleum Co., Apalachicola, Fla., sued Florida for the value of a state lease the company holds in the Gulf of Mexico, saying that by denying it a drilling permit the state is taking its property without compensation.The lawsuit, filed in Leon County Circuit Court, asked the court to determine the fair market value of the 60-year-old state lease that gives Coastal the exclusive right to drill for oil and gas in state waters in the gulf.Coastal President Philip Ware said, "The state wants it both ways. The state is refusing to allow Coastal Petroleum to exercise its legal right to explore for oil and gas under the leases the state sold to us. At same time, the state is refusing to...

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