William Perlman (plaintiff) signed an oil and gas lease with Pioneer Limited Partnership and Kendrick Cattle Company (defendants). The lease contained a force majeure clause stating that Perlman would not be held liable if his performance “is prevented or hindered by . . . inability to obtain governmental permits or approvals necessary or convenient to [Perlman’s] operations.” The lease also required Perlman to “use all reasonable efforts to remove such force majeure.” Perlman’s method for producing gas also produced substantial amounts of water. When the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Commission) learned of Perlman’s plan to use this method, it required that Perlman conduct studies of his method so the Commission could determine whether his wells needed to be permitted as water wells. This was a standard request by the Commission. Rather than conducting the studies, however, Perlman took the position that the Commission’s requirement hindered his performance of the contract under the force majeure clause. Perlman filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the lease was canceled pursuant to the force majeure clause. The district court found in favor of the defendants. Perlman appealed.