Holly files suit in long-running legal battle

Aug. 27, 2002
Holly Corp. along with Navajo Refining filed suit this month in its court battle with Longhorn Partners Pipeline, LPP's principal partners, and the corporations and investment fund that control LPP.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Aug. 27 -- Holly Corp., Dallas, along with its subsidiary Navajo Refining Co. LP of Artesia, NM, filed suit this month in state district court in Carlsbad, NM, in its long-running court battle with Dallas-based Longhorn Partners Pipeline LP (LPP), LPP's principal partners, and the corporations and investment fund that control LPP.

In that suit, Holly and Navajo Refining allege tortious interference with existing business relations, malicious abuse of process, unfair competition, prima facie tort and conspiracy, and seeks actual and punitive damages.

Among the defendants named in the suit are subsidiaries of ExxonMobil Corp., BP PLC, and Williams Cos. Inc., along with Beacon Group Energy Investment Fund.

The latest suit stems from a pending lawsuit filed by LPP in El Paso against Holly and Navajo Refining.

In March 1999, LPP agreed to perform an environmental assessment of its 700 mile refined motor fuel products pipeline from the Texas Gulf Coast to El Paso in settlement of a civil suit in US District Court in Austin (OGJ, Apr. 12, 1999, p. 35). Plaintiffs in that suit—including the Lower Colorado River Authority, the city of Austin, and a group of Kimble County, Tex., ranchers—challenged the environmental safety of a LPP pipeline route across the Edwards Aquifer that furnishes water for many Central Texas cities and towns (OGJ, Aug. 31, 1998, p. 15). Defendants in that case included LPP, the US Department of the Army, US Environmental Protection Agency, and US Department of Transportation.

In the course of that lawsuit, it was discovered that Navajo Refining had fronted funding for the ranchers' suit against LLP. The pipeline firm subsequently filed its own countersuit against Navajo, Holly, and Austin law firm George, Donaldson & Ford LLP (OGJ, Sept. 7, 1998, p. 42).