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Sunflower Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. Tomlinson Oil Company, Inc.

Kansas Court of Appeals
7 Kan. App. 2d 131 (1981)


Tomlinson Oil Company (Tomlinson) (defendant) possessed the natural gas rights to a particular gas field and conducted promising exploratory tests in estimating the amount of gas in the gas field; however, the gas reserves remained unproven until extraction. Tomlinson and Sunflower Electric Cooperative (Sunflower) (plaintiff) entered into an agreement in which Tomlinson promised to supply Sunflower a minimum of 3 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from a particular gas field. Shortly after the execution of the contract, Tomlinson was unable to deliver the minimum quantity of gas to Sunflower because the gas reserves of the field proved to be greatly overestimated. Sunflower purchased the remaining difference in the minimum quantity of gas from another gas supplier at a higher cost, and brought an action for the cost of the cover. The trial court held that Tomlinson was relieved under the doctrine of impossibility in that the gas field did not contain adequate gas reserves, and denied any damages to Sunflower.

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