Mineral Leases

News & Analysis as of

Louisiana Statutory Penalties Imposed on Operator

If you’ve ever tried to escape penalties for the operator/producer’s failure to comply with La. R.S §30:103.1 and §103.2, take comfort in XXI Oil & Gas, LLC v. Hilcorp Energy Company. You are not alone. No excuse has...more

Recent Supreme Court of Ohio Rulings May Alter the Status of Dormant Mineral Rights Throughout the State

The Supreme Court of Ohio recently brought clarity to issues plaguing the holders of both mineral and surface rights for years by addressing two questions: When does the owner of dormant mineral rights abandon those rights?...more

Louisiana State and Federal Courts Split Over Parties Entitled to Reports Under La. R.S. 30:103.1

La. R.S. 30:103.1 requires operators or producers of oil and gas units created by the Louisiana Commissioner of Conservation to provide reports containing information related to well costs and production to owners of...more

Ohio Supreme Court Decides Dormant Mineral Act Cases

On September 15, 2016 the Ohio Supreme Court issued three opinions providing long-awaited clarity to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“ODMA” or “Act”). Most notably, the court ruled that the 1989 ODMA did not automatically allow...more

Assigning By “Stratigraphic Equivalent”? Be Careful

How many of your mineral conveyances are described like this: … all of Sellers’ right, title and interest in and to (a) the oil, gas and other minerals in, to and under the lands … ONLY INSOFAR as such oil, gas and other...more

Louisiana Partition Agreement: You Can’t Trade What You Don’t Own

Square Mile Energy LLC v. Pommier considered this language in a Louisiana partition agreement: “N.B: Included in this transfer are any and all mineral rights, when available, to Roxanne and all surface rights.” Did this...more

Understanding the SEC’s Proposed New Mining Disclosure Rules: Questions and Answers

On June 16, 2016, the SEC proposed a major overhaul of the disclosure requirements for companies that are engaged in material mining operations, including royalty companies. The proposed rules would replace the SEC’s...more

Sabine – A New York Bankruptcy Judge’s Interpretation of Texas Property Law Encourages Compromise and Leaves an Industry in Limbo

On March 9, 2016, Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman of the Southern District of New York issued her decision on the Debtor’s motion to reject certain contracts in Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation’s Chapter 11 case. The decision,...more

The Accommodation Doctrine Gets Its Feet Wet

Let’s start with a little background: Under the Accommodation Doctrine an oil and gas lessee has an implied right to use the land as reasonably necessary to produce and remove the minerals, but must exercise the right with...more

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

Conventional - May 3 – Freehold Royalties Ltd. entered into an agreement with Husky Energy Inc. to acquire royalty production and lands for an aggregate purchase price of $165 million. The transaction closed on May 25,...more

Lessee Escapes Termination

Escondido and Justapor. Next up on Tiny Desk Concert? Good guess, but no. They are the parties in Escondido v. Justapor, a Texas case presenting the perils of lease termination clauses and vaguely-drawn contracts....more

Here We Go Again: Fractional Royalty or Fraction of a Royalty?

“Blood may be thicker than water, but oil is thicker than both.”  J. R. Ewing. This family dispute among Ethel’s descendants arose when Ethel’s will employed double fractions in bequeathing royalty interests to her children....more

Significant Developments in Canadian Energy – For the month of April 2016

Conventional - April 21, 2016 – The Alberta government announced the technical formulas that will be used to calculate royalties and payout cost allowances on oil, natural gas, propane and butane starting in 2017....more

“Production in Paying Quantities”: Louisiana Appellate Court Decides When and What Should be Considered in Determination

The Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal, in Middleton, et al. v. EP Energy E&P Company, L.P., et al., concluded that, in considering whether mineral leases terminated for failure to produce in paying quantities, a fact...more

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

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