CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — An oil and gas firm has initiated legal action to stop Peabody Energy from destroying its wells in a case of conflicting rights to produce coal or oil and gas.

Berenergy and the coal giant have overlapping lease rights in Campbell County. They have fought over who gets the right to develop minerals for more than three years.

Berenergy's wells are nearing the end of life, whereas Peabody's coal would be part of one of the largest existing open surface mines in the country.

The final decision rests with the Interior Board of Land Appeals, which is expected next month.

At an Oct. 11 hearing in Casper, a federal judge will decide whether Peabody must wait until the Interior board issues its decision.