Charles Sartain

Charles Sartain

Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C.

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How an Expert Can Affect Your Oil and Gas Claim

Your well consultant just cemented 10,000 feet of tubing inside the casing of your eight million dollar well, … a neighboring operator frac’ed his Eagle Ford well into your Austin Chalk completion, thereby trespassing and...more

7/1/2015 - Contamination Expert Testimony Fracking Hess Corporation Oil & Gas

Court Arrives at Fair Market Value of Gas Property

In Texas, lost profits can’t be recovered as damages unless proven to a “reasonable certainty”. Question 1: What does that mean? Question 2: Does it matter if the deal is in Bulgaria? Let’s get rid of the...more

6/17/2015 - Damages Energy Sector Fair Market Value Lost Profits Methane Oil & Gas Profits TX Supreme Court Well Drilling

Is Your Well Producing in Paying Quantities? – The Jury Will Decide

One consequence of falling oil prices is leases that cease to produce in paying quantities. The producer’s question: How soon must the well return to profitability? The answer in BP American Production Company v. Laddex, Ltd....more

6/10/2015 - BP Mineral Leases Oil & Gas Oil Prices

Defendants Saved by Louisiana Subsequent Purchaser Rule

Another Louisiana court has ruled that the Subsequent Purchaser Rule applies to damages following a mineral lease. In Bundrick v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. it is the 3rd Circuit. The Rule: An owner of property...more

6/3/2015 - Contaminated Properties Mineral Leases Oil & Gas Property Damage Subsequent Purchasers

Can the Tax Man Come After Your Stored Gas?

The owner of 33 BCF of gas cant’ just stuff it in his pocket and move it county-to-county to avoid taxes. So, the question: Is gas in storage subject to ad valorem tax on personal property? The Harris County Appraisal...more

5/26/2015 - Energy Sector Interstate Commerce Oil & Gas Pipelines Taxation

How to Manage Credit and Collect Unpaid Bills in Today’s Oil Patch

Everybody from the well site to the board room has an opinion about when oil prices will “rebound”. Rather than an opinion, we have a question: How do I collect my money while we’re waiting? This post is a refresher for...more

5/21/2015 - Energy Sector Oil & Gas Royalties Vendor Contacts

Lipsky Revisited – Details and Debate

Lipsky was not Range’s lessor, therefor I know nothing about the case. Surely, this person lives in my house, where I enjoy a long history of knowing nothing about anything. (Memo to self: check progress on subpoena for kids’...more

5/12/2015 - Discharge of Pollutants Energy Sector EPA Fracking Hydrocarbons Oil & Gas Railroads Rick Perry Ted Cruz well

How Are the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute and Jade Helm 15 Alike?

May a court “draw rational inferences from circumstantial evidence” when determining if a plaintiff has met its burden in a suit in which the defendant has invoked the Texas Citizens Participation Act . That was the question...more

5/6/2015 - Anti-SLAPP Defamation Energy EPA SCOTUS TCPA Texas well

Your Texas Legislature at Work, Part 2

The Texas legislature is still busy on energy issues. Is that good or bad? It depends on your situation; oil patch thieves won’t like it. Wind Energy - Senate Bill 931 would blow away the Renewable Portfolio...more

4/30/2015 - Energy Sector Oil & Gas Proposed Legislation Wind Power

What is Your Texas Legislature Doing for You Today?

The Texas legislature has been busy on energy. House Bill 40, similar to House Bills 539 and 540, steamrolled through the House of Representatives last week by a vote of 122 to 18. Reminds us of A L pitchers not...more

4/22/2015 - Legislative Agendas Oil & Gas Pending Legislation Preemption Railroads

The Danger of “Too Much Information”?

I know contract writers who like to state terms, such as property descriptions, several different ways. If you just have to over-describe, at least be careful, and at least be sure the descriptions are consistent....more

4/16/2015 - Chain of Title Contract Drafting Deeds Legal Description Property Owners

No Equitable Extension of a Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Lease

Whoa! I didn’t see this one coming. Pennsylvania lessees are not entitled to an equitable extension of the primary term of an oil and gas lease in the face of a legal challenge to the validity of the lease....more

4/9/2015 - Contract Term Declaratory Judgments Mineral Leases Oil & Gas Time Extensions Tolling

A Lesson in Lease Administration

What must a Louisiana lessee do to avoid statutory penalties for non-payment of royalty, and what must a royalty owner do to put the lessee on notice that royalties are not being paid? The answers are, more than the lessee...more

3/31/2015 - Mineral Leases Royalties Statutory Penalties Trust Administration

Must the Lessee Be Wary of the Executive Right Owner?

You are negotiating to take a big oil and gas lease. The run sheets show you are dealing with an executive right owner on behalf of himself and his NPRI owner. His proposed terms are odd: a lower-than-market royalty and a...more

3/25/2015 - Contract Negotiations Fiduciary Duty Mineral Leases Oil & Gas Royalties

The Executive Right and the NPRI – What is the Relationship?

The duty owed by the executive right holder to its non-participating royalty interest holder in Texas, long haunted by the ghost of Clinton Manges, is again examined. From KCM Financial, et al. v. Bradshaw and its...more

3/18/2015 - C-Suite Executives Mineral Leases Oil & Gas Royalties

Denbury Part II: Big Changes Coming in Texas Pipeline Condemnations ?

Is Denbury’s Green Pipeline a common carrier? That question is alive and well in Texas. In Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd. v. Denbury Green-Texas Pipeline, LLC, the Beaumont court of appeals reversed a summary judgment granted...more

3/11/2015 - Appeals Common Carriers condemna Oil & Gas Pipelines Public Use

What Can I Get From My Lessee if I Ask the Court For It?

It s been said that if you don’t ask for what you want you’ll get what you deserve. Mr. Hooks took that truism to heart. Hooks v. Samson is about more than the discovery rule (See last week). Here are the other claims...more

3/3/2015 - Mineral Leases Most-Favored Nations Oil & Gas Royalties

Texas Supreme Court Relaxes Its Grip on the Discovery Rule

The Texas Supreme Court – that elephants’ graveyard of claims and causes of action – has sided with a lessor-plaintiff who relied on the discovery rule to defeat a limitations defense. For the many with low expectations when...more

2/25/2015 - Discovery Fraudulent Inducement Mineral Leases Oil & Gas Public Records TX Supreme Court

Louisiana Lessee Could be Liable for Withholding Information

A Quiz - You are in Louisiana and are described as having a “lesion beyond moiety”. What do you do? A. Contact your primary care physician for an appointment...more

2/18/2015 - Fair Market Value Fraud Mineral Leases Misrepresentation Oil & Gas Rescission Royalties

Operator Can’t Recover Drilling Costs For Affiliate’s Expensive Rig

In Elm Ridge Exploration Co., LLC v. Engle we are reminded of a little-used provision in the 1989 Model Form Operating Agreement. Article VI.D.1 allows the operator to use its own equipment, but his charges may not exceed...more

2/4/2015 - Breach of Contract Business Litigation Oil & Gas Operating Agreements Well Drilling

Meanwhile in Texas … Who Should Decide About Fracking?

Rep. Phil King has introduced two bills relating to fracking. House Bill 539 would add requirements for municipalities that propose petitions or ordinances that will affect oil and natural gas production. The Bill would...more

1/28/2015 - Fracking Fracking Bans Local Ordinance Oil & Gas Pending Legislation Revenue

Consider The Retained Acreage Clause

Have you ever wondered about the original purpose of the retained acreage clause? According to Professor Kramer, it was “to prevent the lessee from losing those portions of a lease that had productive wells thereon if the...more

1/21/2015 - Commercial Leases Lease Termination Leases Mineral Leases Oil & Gas Retained Acreage

5th Circuit Blocks Punitive Damages in Maritime Case

In McBride v. Estis Well Service, LLC, the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that punitive damages are not available to seamen under the Jones Act or under general maritime law. In those cases, recovery is...more

1/7/2015 - Appeals Jones Act Offshore Drilling Oil & Gas Pecuniary Losses Punitive Damages Seamen

Frackers v. Anti’s – Scoring update

The box scores after election day showed frackers 4, anti’s 4. Courtesy of a gubernatorial grand-slam by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, hydraulic fracturing is now banned throughout the entire state of New York....more

12/24/2014 - Andrew Cuomo Energy Policy Fracking Fracking Bans Natural Gas Oil & Gas

A Little-Used Doctrine Saves a Lease

Would this scenario keep you up at night? Your lease does not produce from May through August because a leak in a heater-treater makes it impossible or impractical to produce the well. Problems such as access to the site...more

12/17/2014 - Lease Termination Mineral Leases Oil & Gas Well Drilling

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