Mineral Leases

News & Analysis as of

The Peril in Joint Bidding for Properties

Wondering what was behind the Department of Justice indictment of the late Aubrey McClendon? The charge was conspiring to rig bids for oil and gas properties in Oklahoma. Read the McClendon indictment and engage in the parlor...more

Significant developments in Canadian energy – for the month of March 2016

Conventional - March 9, 2016 – Encana Corporation is exploring the sale of more non-core assets in the United States and Canada that could net proceeds of approximately $1 billion. Encana is open to offers on all of...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases

In the Court’s first decision on oil and gas issues since three new justices were elected, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that the doctrine of estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases. In Shedden v....more

Washing Out a Lessee By Email

Behold Mr. Clean. Even he can’t remove a pesky stain as skillfully as the landman who framed the conversation in a way that washed out a lessee. See Anadarko Petroleum Corporation v. TRO-X, LP Did the lessee retain any...more

What Happens to a Bundled Production Payment When a Lease Terminates?

Must a production payment out of four oil and gas leases be proportionately reduced if two of the leases expire because production ceased? In Apache Deepwater, LLC v. McDaniel Partners, Ltd., the Texas Supreme Court says yes....more

Production in Paying Quantities: Second Circuit Holds Lower Courts Must Consider All Relevant Factors, Not Just Profit

Since this blog’s post on production in paying quantities on January 26, 2016, the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal rendered its latest decision on the subject in Middleton v. EP Energy E&P Co., L.P., 50,300-CA (La....more

Post-Production Deductions Revisited

Apparently unsatisfied with its analysis in Chesapeake Exploration v. Hyder, the Texas Supreme Court revisited its original opinion on an overriding royalty clause. The Hyders remain the winners. In effect, the court replaced...more

Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing Issued by Secretary Jewell

On January 15, 2016, Interior Secretary Jewell halted federal coal leasing on public lands. Western coal companies are attempting to sort out the implications of the moratorium and exemptions set out in Secretarial Order...more

Suspension of coal leasing

The United States Department of the Interior has announced a temporary suspension of coal leasing on public lands pending a comprehensive review of the federal coal program by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Public...more

Department of the Interior Releases Proposed Rule to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas

Advances in oil and gas production technology, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have dramatically increased the production of oil and gas in the United States by unlocking shale gas and other resources...more

The Double-Fraction Dilemma: Intent-Focused Inquiry Prevails

As the oil and gas industry has moved away from the legacy of the 1/8th royalty, double-fraction language has generated a multitude of disagreements as to whether a royalty interest should be construed as "fixed" or...more

What is an Adequate Description For a Mineral Lien ?

Thanks to In re Reichmann Petroleum Corp., we know one that works in Texas: A lien affidavit attaching either a plat or a plat and a Texas Railroad Commission Form W-1 provides an adequate property description for a mineral...more

Arbitrage and Investment Opportunities with Respect to Midstream Oil and Gas Assets

In the current price environment, highly leveraged exploration and production (E&P) companies facing liquidity-induced stress find themselves facing a dilemma. As borrowing-base cuts loom, capital markets remain tight and...more

Production in Paying Quantities: Maintaining Mineral Leases Beyond Their Primary Terms with Production of Oil or Gas

The sharp decline in oil prices over the past year and a half has had a significant impact on operators and mineral lessees in Louisiana and in other oil-producing states. Mineral lessees may be particularly concerned with...more

108 Year-Old Lease Survives

A baseball question: You’ve got men on late in the game; a base hit to the right side wins. Do you put the bat on the ball for a single or swing for the deep seats, risking the game-ending strikeout?...more

Third Circuit Reaffirms High Burden To Establish Delegation Of Class Arbitrability Determination

Earlier this month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed its holding that the availability of class arbitration constitutes a question of arbitrability to be decided by courts unless the arbitration agreement...more

Department of the Interior Announces Comprehensive Review of Federal Coal Program

On January 15, Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the Department of the Interior will launch a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program. During the review, which is...more

US Suspends Coal Leasing on Federal Lands

Legal challenges to moratorium likely as US Department of Interior considers reforms. On Friday, January 15, 2016, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the US will “pause” federal coal...more

Third Circuit Holds That Courts – Not Arbitrators – Must Determine Whether Arbitration Clauses Permit Class Action Arbitration

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in a precedential opinion, recently held that courts, not arbitrators, must decide whether a class action dispute should be governed by arbitration unless the...more

Texas Property Code Change – No More Subordinations?

Weary of having to solicit those pesky subordinations of pre-existing mortgages to your recently-acquired oil and gas leases? Tired of chasing down the third assistant to the fourth vice president for loan servicing just to...more

Third Circuit Rules Court Should Decide Class Arbitrability

Action Item: In a precedential opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit outlined what is required for parties to allow arbitrators—rather than courts—to decide whether a matter could be arbitrated as a class....more

A Corporate Opportunity? … Stolen?

If you want to get to the meaning of a case, one exercise is to put yourself in the shoes of one participant or the other and see how you react to the events. (This also works well with Bible stories, by the way.) Last week...more

North Dakota Supreme Court Announces a Test for the Paying Quantities Requirement

In Fleck v. Missouri River Royalty Corp., the North Dakota Supreme Court outlined the test that should be used to determine whether a well is producing in paying quantities to satisfy the habendum clause. That test involves...more

Les Miles is Like the Oil Business

How is that, you say? More on the Les mess: And now, on to our case Co-author Brooke Sizer.   NorAm Drilling Co. v. E & Pco Intern., LLC is important if you: The events E&P acquired two leases in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana,...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Affirms Striking of 24-Year-Old Default Judgment, and Holds That Leasing Is Not Enough to Claim...

The development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has led to a number of disputes about historical judgments that purportedly divested reserved oil and gas rights from their owners. During the 20th century, surface...more

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