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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

What Price For a Louisiana Servitude?

According to Enterprise Te Products Pipeline Company v. Avila, it is the value of the expropriated property, even if it is as little as 33 cents each to the landowners. This seemingly small case must have had big potential...more

Oil Industry Custom and the Model Form JOA: A Debate

We begin with an existential question: “The philosophy behind all of the model form agreements is that aggressive drilling under the JOA should be promoted and rewarded. Agree or disagree? ...more

It’s Now Easier To Be a Common Carrier Pipeline in Texas

We now know what it takes to establish common carrier pipeline status in Texas. According to the Texas Supreme Court in Denbury Green Pipeline Texas LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd., all that is required is a reasonable...more

The Constructive Notice Doctrine in Action

Today’s “pay attention” edition begins with a quiz. What is the most important thing to read carefully: a. Speed limit sign in small-town (insert name of Southern state). b. Itinerary for that dream vacation, the...more

2016 – A Bad Year For Bad Guys in Energy

Let’s look back at a cavalcade of crooks, criminals and miscreants who met up with justice in 2016. We do it to be reminded of the others who will be lurking in the 2017 shadows....more

Have You Reviewed Your Lease Maintenance Processes Lately?

You might conclude that the but-for-the-grace-of-God-that-could-be-me nightmare presented in In re: RPH Capital Partners is instructive only for lawyers. If so, you would be mistaken. The lesson: If you want to win the...more

TXO v. Vela Remembered in a Gas Royalty Case

Westport Oil & Gas Company, L.P. v. Mecom et al. presented this question: Was the lease royalty based on a gas purchase agreement formula or on the royalty clauses’s market value at the well provision? Spoiler alert:...more

Your Louisiana Override – Where Does it Come From?

It’s a multiple choice question: a. The royalty interest reserved by the lessor. b. The drillbit, courtesy of fearless, risk-taking entrepreneurs, the backbone of the great American free enterprise system and the...more

Arbitration in Louisiana – Another Budding Romance?

Are Louisiana courts as enamored with arbitration as their Texas counterparts? Looks like it. East of the Sabine, submitting your dispute to arbitration means you are pretty much saying adieu, farewell and bye-bye to...more

The Rule Against Perpetuities is Alive and Enforceable in Oklahoma

Today we venture into Oklahoma, to be instructed on the Supreme Court’s treatment of the Rule Against Perpetuities. First, the Rule: No property interest is good unless it must vest, if all, not later than 21 years after...more

Option Contract Ruling Reversed by Texas Supreme Court.

North Shore Energy v. Harkins interpreted an Option Agreement between landowners and a producer over a 400 acre tract. In football they would say the Texas Supreme Court pancaked the plaintiff. In the law, some would call it...more

Operator – Don’t Get Burned by Paying an Insolvent Contractor

Just received notice of a Texas subcontractor’s mineral lien? DO NOT continue to pay the contractor. He hasn’t paid the subcontractor. Think you owe nothing on the well on which the lien will be filed? Think what you owe the...more

What Your New President Will Do For or To You

We begin with a Rorschach test. As the big election day approaches, which candidate do you see in the photograph? Discuss among yourselves. Get ready for lots of musical interludes. The nation’s despair runs deep and...more

Texas Courts Continue Their Romance With Arbitration

The lessons in Craddick Partners Ltd. v. EnerSciences Holdings, LLC are three: Parties who have not signed an agreement to arbitrate have standing to compel arbitration; artful pleading to avoid arbitration won’t work; and...more

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