No. 97-5146.

158 F.3d 1253 (1998)

MARATHON OIL COMPANY and Mobil Oil Exploration & Producing Southeast, Inc., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellant.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit.

October 15, 1998.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

E. Edward Bruce, Covington and Burling, Washington, DC, argued, for plaintiffs-appellees. With him on the brief were Steven J. Rosenbaum, Thomas L. Cubbage III, and Ernest A. Young.

Mark A. Melnick, Senior Trial Counsel, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, Department of Justice, Washington, DC, argued, for defendant-appellant. With him on the brief were Frank W. Hunger, Assistant Attorney General, Stuart E. Schiffer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, David M. Cohen, Director, and John C. Erickson, III, Attorney. Of counsel on the brief was W. Jackson Coleman, Senior Attorney, Office of the Solicitor, Department of the Interior.

Before NEWMAN, PLAGER, and SCHALL, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the court filed by Circuit Judge PLAGER. Dissenting opinion filed by Circuit Judge NEWMAN.

PLAGER, Circuit Judge.

This is a contract dispute between a lessor, the United States ("Government"), and lessees, Marathon Oil and Mobil Oil (collectively "Marathon"), involving Outer Continental Shelf ("OCS") oil and gas leases on submerged lands off the coast of North Carolina. The dispute centers over the denial by the Government of the permits necessary...

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