Shale Oil Antitrust Litigation


Gasoline and diesel fuel prices have been at historically high prices for the last several years. Businesses nationwide have been feeling the effects, paying more at the pump to fuel the vehicles they rely upon for their livelihoods. Running a business, especially one that depends on highly cost-variable inputs like fuel, is difficult and risky under the best of circumstances.

On behalf of businesses nationwide, Lockridge Grindal Nauen has filed a lawsuit alleging that beginning in or around January 2021, the prices that businesses nationwide have paid for gasoline and diesel fuel have been artificially inflated as a result of a conspiracy between the largest shale oil producers in the United States. The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy not only between those producers, but also with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, commonly referred to as OPEC.

Shale oil is a high-quality crude oil found between layers of shale rock, impermeable mudstone, or siltstone. It can be extracted, refined, and used to produce, among other things, gasoline and diesel fuel. Shale oil is produced by fracturing the rock formations that contain the layers of oil in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as “fracking.” Crude oil is the main input into gasoline and diesel fuel, and approximately 90% of variation in the price of these fuels is directly related to the price of crude oil.

The lawsuit alleges that OPEC initially declared a “price war” on the large American shale oil producers, by attempting to drive oil prices low enough so as to render American fracking economically unviable. After those efforts failed, OPEC and those producers slowly began to collude in an effort to drive oil prices higher for all involved in the conspiracy. By 2018, the large American producers bragged about having “a seat at the table on pricing” with OPEC. In early 2020, the oil market experienced the shock and unprecedented price declines brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. By early 2021, demand for gasoline and diesel fuel was surging. Defendants, the large American shale producers, should have seized the opportunity to ramp up production to take advantage of increasingly high prices. Yet against their own economic self-interest, those producers preached “discipline” and limited their production.

The lawsuit alleges that they did so in furtherance of their conspiracy, the result of which was to drive up gasoline and diesel fuel prices for purchasers including businesses. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada on January 24, 2024, and is captioned These Paws Were Made for Walkin’ LLC v. Permian Resources Corp., et al., No. 2:24-cv-00164. The defendants are Permian Resources Corp. (f/k/a Centennial Resource Development, Inc., Chesapeake Energy Corp., Continental Resources Inc., Diamondback Energy, Inc., EOG Resources, Inc., Hess Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp., and Pioneer Natural Resources Co.

Do you own a business that purchased gasoline or diesel fuel since 2021?

If you own a business that purchased gasoline or diesel fuel since 2021, please contact us.


If you would like to discuss your legal options, please contact Brian Clark or Steve Teti at,, or at 612-339-6900.


2024-01-24 These Paws Were Made for Walkin’ LLC v. Permian Resources Corp., Centennial Resource Development, Inc. et al Complaint