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An Oil Patch Morality Play – Part 1

You are selling properties. The buyer thinks you own the deep rights but you know your long-time partner owns them. You attend the closing. You don’t tell the buyer that he’s got the ownership wrong. You are protected by a...more

Another Oil Field Contamination Plaintiff Waits Too Long

Suggestions to Texas lessors after ExxonMobil v. Lazy R Ranch, et al: Claiming that you were not aware of contamination from oil spills you’ve know about for 20 years is a tough sell, and suing your long-time lessee for...more

Blame Game Fails Louisiana Casing Vendor

There’s no better place in the oil patch to play the blame game than 10,000 feet of leaky wellbore. What went wrong? In Justiss v. Oil Country Tubular Corporation, Justiss, a drilling contractor, entered into an IADC...more

Section 232 and Oil Country Tubular Goods

By now, you’ve heard the Trump Administration is conducting a “Section 232 Investigation” into the effect of imported steel and aluminum products on national security. Here’s a primer on the topic....more

An Unusual Way To Hold an Oil and Gas Lease

Here is what we believe is an unusual situation: A gas unit is formed. The gas well ceases to produce. Another gas well produces from an oil unit, but the lease at issue is not included in the oil unit. Is the lease...more

Why Leaving the Paris Climate Accord Could Be a Good Thing

The climate change debate is too complex, agenda-driven, and politicized to be addressed adequately in these pages. But the hysteria and faux outrage over President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord...more

Texas Mineral Deeds Survive the Statute of Frauds

According to Mr. Bumble, the law is an ass. I disagree (Know a lawyer who’s an ass? That’s another conversation). In Davis v. Mueller the law was not an ass, per se, but as applied by the Texas Supreme Court it showed little...more

Limitations Runs on Nuisance Claims

When must a neighbor sue for nuisance and trespass or else be barred by limitations? It’s a tricky question. In Town of Dish et al v. Atmos Energy et al, the Texas Supreme Court concluded that the claims were time-barred. The...more

Louisiana Forced Pooling – Timing is Important

Trigger warning for Texas readers: This entry will discuss forced pooling. You may now retreat to your “safe space”, where “no guvment-sumbitch-bureaucrat can conspire with [name of large oil company] to steal my stripper...more

Texas Subsurface Trespass Law Clarified

We know that in Texas the mineral owner has the right to explore for and produce the minerals. What does that leave for the surface owner? In Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Onshore, LLC the Texas Supreme Court tells us...more

Suit For Bad Frac Job Requires a Certificate of Merit

You are a service company and you’ve been sued for a defective frac job. It looks scary but there’s no detail in the petition and no certificate of merit is attached. ...more

Oil Field Contamination Award Upheld

Forest Oil Corporation v. El Rucio Land and Cattle Inc. et al deserves your attention for four reasons: You won’t see another one involving damage to a rhinoceros pen...more

Did This “Deed” Convey Fee Simple or an Easement?

BNSF v. Chevron Midcontinent LP et al. asked whether a 1903 deed granted BNSF’s predecessor a strip of land in fee simple absolute or only an easement. The result: BNSF holds only an easement. There’s more to the case than an...more

A Development in Earthquakes and Fracking

Sierra Club v. Chesapeake Operating LLC et al is news more shocking than “Man Bites Dog”! A federal court has acknowledged that others are better equipped to address certain issues than the judiciary!...more

Hydrocarbons Win One and Lose One in Battles With Crawfish

In re: Louisiana Crawfish Producers arises out of the collision between two of Louisiana’s favored enterprises: crawfish and hydrocarbons....more

Rejecting Midstream Agreements in Bankruptcy – the Journey Continues

One of the hottest issues from 2016 was whether an E&P debtor can reject, under section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, an above-market midstream contract. Given the potential for a “no-win” situation, in all but one case where...more

Production-in-Paying-Quantities Analysis Confirmed

In BP America v. Laddex, Ltd. the Texas Supreme Court affirmed that in a lease termination case the trial court cannot limit the jury’s consideration of production in paying quantities to an arbitrary time period. The court...more

Was it a Mineral Deed or an Oil and Gas Lease?

How to distinguish an oil and gas lease from a mineral deed? In Richardson v. Mills, it was a deed when the instrument uses words like “forever” and imposes no duty to explore for and develop minerals....more

Can Reworking a Saltwater Disposal Well Maintain a Lease?

Should the sufficiency of reworking operations under the cessation-of-production clause of an oil and gas lease be limited to the producing well? Crystal River Oil and Gas, LLC et al v. Patton was a suit to terminate an oil...more

The Parol Evidence Rule at Work in a Mineral Transaction

A phrase currently in common usage begins with “‘cluster” and ends with a vulgarity that has been around for centuries. Saheid v. Kennedy presents facts that pretty much exemplify the meaning of the phrase...more

Does it Matter if a Deed Correction is Material?

McCabe Trust v. Ranger Energy LLC, is the consequence of failing to comply with the Texas Property Code when correcting real property conveyances....more

Lessons in Administering a Master Service Agreement

Is condensate a contaminant? When it spills and burns a worker, yes. In Hiland Partners v. National Union Fire Insurance Company the operator, an additional insured under a contractor’s commercial general liability insurance...more

Mineral Lease Prevails in Louisiana Royalty Dispute

Prevails over what, you ask? In Gladney v. Anglo-Dutch Energy, LLC, a conditional allowable from the Office of Conservation didn’t supersede lease royalty obligations....more

Award for Nuisance From Gas Wells Squelched

It was a bad day for the Parrs in Aruba Petroleum v. Parr. The trial court judgment was against the operator for intentional nuisance. The Parrs recovered $2.9 million for pain and suffering and mental anguish and for loss of...more

Oil and Gas Arbitration – Did the Parties Get What They Bargained For?

First, a promise: I won’t report on another arbitration case until there is more to say than “business as usual”. Second, an opinion: Arbitration is still the right forum in many situations. Third, remember: An award and a...more

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