As many business owners know, disputes between companies can get contentious and costly, both in terms of time wasted and money spent. In Texas, where the oil and gas industry dominates a large share of the market, disputes are not uncommon. There are many ways to settle a dispute, ranging from courtroom litigation to alternative dispute resolution methods – the latter of which are meant to reduce conflict, time and cost, as well as to preserve business interests.

A current dispute between two Texas oil companies – Wagner Oil Company in Fort Worth and Apache Corporation in Houston – was recently scheduled for arbitration by an appellate court. The Dallas Business Journal reports that the dispute concerns environmental cleanup litigation over assets previously owned by Apache, which Wagner Oil Company purchased. According to the arbitration terms, the final hearing should take place within 30 days of the first hearing.

The arbitration process usually has a strict timeline from beginning to end, as FindLaw explains. Additionally, arbitration allows both parties to use evidence to present their cases before a neutral third party, and the dispute may be confidential – a benefit that is not present in litigated cases. These are some of the reasons arbitration is utilized in business disputes more often than any other alternative dispute resolution method.

Business litigation is often complex, whether the parties involved go to court or agree to settle their differences through alternative dispute resolution means. Therefore, it is usually recommended to seek experienced counsel when a disagreement arises.