Mineral Leases

News & Analysis as of

Another Chesapeake Post-Production Deduction Case

The result was like others we’ve seen. Lessors Win. These wells are in Johnson and Tarrant County, Texas. Lessee Chesapeake Exploration sells to affiliate Chesapeake Marketing through affiliate-operator Chesapeake Operating....more

BOEM’s “Proposed Guidance” Shakes Up the Agency’s Supplemental Bonding Requirements

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) has backed away from its proposed rulemaking regarding financial assurance requirements for the Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”). On August 19, 2014, BOEM published an Advance...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision and Allows a Natural Gas Well Project to Proceed in a Residential...

On September 9, 2015, Judge Mary Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County’s ruling, which had set aside the Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township’s (the...more

North Dakota Supreme Court Addresses What Creates a Fiduciary Relationship with a Land Broker

On September 21, 2015, the North Dakota Supreme Court found that a fiduciary relationship between an oil company and its landman could exist depending upon the existence of a confidential relationship. Irish Oil...more

How to “Score” a Contract from the Red Zone

Football pundits like to discuss Red Zone effectiveness. Driving to the goal line doesn’t much matter if you don‘t score. So, why would a negotiating party fail to score an enforceable contract while negotiating from the Red...more

Trade Secrets Protected From Disclosure Under FOIA…Except For When They Aren’t

We have previously reported about protecting trade secrets from disclosure after a FOIA request. There is something to be said for immediate action and intervening to protect your trade secrets, but sometimes that just isn’t...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court: Separate Consideration for Operated and Unoperated Acres Does Not Render an Oil and Gas Lease...

The recent boom in natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin has led to a concomitant boom in litigation, as landowners who are lessors in long-standing oil and gas leases seek declarations that the leases are no longer...more

New York Fracking Ban: Insult Followed by Injury

Political actions have consequences. A force majeure clause in New York oil and gas leases does not modify the primary term of the habendum clause and the leases are not extended because of the state ban “moratorium” on...more

You Own the Oil. Do You Own the Rock?

Riddle: What’s the difference between a hydrocarbon molecule and the underground structure which the molecule inhabits? Answer: In Texas, you can own one and not the other, according to Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P...more

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling That New York State’s Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing Did Not Extend the...

New York’s 2010 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, culminating in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s formal ban of the practice in his state on December 17, 2014, made many large waves in the political, legal, and public arenas, the...more

Texas Legislature Imposes Statutory Subordination of Real Estate Mortgages to Oil and Gas Leases

The explosive growth of oil and gas leasing and drilling in the Barnett Shale play turned an issue that had always been a nuisance for the oil and gas industry into a significant problem. When an oil and gas producer takes a...more

Did the 2015 Texas Legislature Help Oil and Gas?

Your Texas legislators have done their work and the citizens are safe for the next two years.  The other good news is that industry supporters generally believe the 2015 Legislature was their friend. House Bill 2: Set...more

Another Lease Termination Case, a Different Ending

We recently discussed failure to produce in paying quantities. Another decision involving the same lessee had a different result. Why? The question in both cases was whether the well was capable of producing in paying...more

ONRR Continues to Penalize Oil and Gas Companies With Federal Leases in Wyoming for Failure to Submit Production Reports

The Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (“ONRR”) announced that it has issued a $6.9 million civil penalty to High Plains Gas, Inc., for failure to submit production reports for numerous federal...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms That Pennsylvania Law Does Not Recognize Automatic “Equitable Extensions” of Oil and Gas...

On June 25, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania’s prior entry of summary judgment in favor of the lessor plaintiffs on the...more

Guide To Doing Business in Australia: Minerals Exploration & Mining (Updated)

MINERALS EXPLORATION AND MINING: Minerals exploration and mining is a very important industry in Australia. Australia has significant reserves of minerals including iron ore, coal, gas, uranium, nickel, gold and rare...more

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

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

BLM Requests Comments on Upcoming Lease Sale in Nation’s Largest Federal Land Unit

The BLM is asking interested parties to comment on tracts available for oil and gas leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPR-A) by June 29, 2015. The NPR-A encompasses 22.8 million acres on Alaska’s North Slope...more

Is Your ORRI What You Think It Is?

Bankruptcy Court reinforces importance of parties’ intent in determining the nature of overriding royalty interests under state law. On April 2, 2015, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware...more

Pratt’s Energy Law Report highlights Jordan Collins’ Analysis of Interior Department’s Draft Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Analysis

The April 2015 edition of Pratt’s Energy Law Report features an article from ML Strategies’ Jordan Collins on the Department of the Interior’s Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022....more

Recent Court of Appeals Decision Guts Force Majeure Clauses in Most Oil and Gas Leases

On March 31, 2015, the New York State Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Walter R. Beardslee, et al. v. Inflection Energy, LLC, et al., interpreting the applicability of force majeure clauses to extend the...more

Colorado Court Ruling Confirms Role of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Resolving Royalty Disputes

It is not uncommon for royalty disputes between mineral lessors and operators to increase as oil and natural gas prices decrease. Before mineral lessors go running to the courthouse in Colorado, however, and before operators...more

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 Key Restructuring Considerations for Distressed E&P Companies

“For distressed exploration and production (E&P) companies and their lenders, there can be many significant legal issues associated with restructuring,” according to Latham & Watkins partner Mitchell Seider. Seider is...more

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