The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, range made materially misleading and/or false statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Range had improperly designated the status of their wells in Pennsylvania since at least 2013; (ii) this subjected Range to a heightened risk of regulatory enforcement and investigation, as well as artificially decreased Range’s periodically reported cost estimates to abandon and plug its wells; (iii) Range was the subject of a DEP investigation since sometime between September 2017 to January 2021 for improperly designating the status of their wells; (iv) this investigation would foreseeably and did ultimately lead to Range’s incurring regulatory fines; and (v) Range’s public statements were materially misleading and false at all relevant times as a result.
Prior to the close of the trading session on February 10, 2021 the DEP issued a press release announcing the payment of a civil penalty of $294,000 by Range to the agency for violations of the 2012 Oil and Gas Act. The DEP had launched an investigation of Range after finding inaccurate and conflicting information regarding the status of a Range well in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. After subpoenaing Range for information about its wells, DEP found that “between Tuesday, July 16, 2013, and Monday, October 11, 2017, 42 of Range Resources’ conventional wells were placed on inactive status but were never used again” and that several of the Range’s wells had not been used for “12 months at the time Range Resources submitted its applications for inactive status, even though “after 12 consecutive months of no productive, the well would be classified as abandoned and must be plugged.” Range ultimately had to plug the wells that had been identified by DEP as having not having a viable future use in order to remediate the issue.
On February 11, 2020 Range’s stock price fell $0.62 per share, or 6.08%, to close at $9.57 per share on this news.
Range Resources Corporation
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