Mineral Leases

News & Analysis as of

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

Louisiana Mineral Code Article 122 Revisited

Creativity abounds: Your 16-year old “explaining” the empty Southern Comfort bottle and the roach clip; President Obama justifying his rejection of Keystone. The Louisiana Supreme Court isn’t much of a supporter, at least in...more

Texas Court Requires Expert Testimony to Support Toxic Tort Personal Injury Claims

Reinforcing the requirement for expert testimony to support toxic tort personal injury claims under Texas law, a Texas appellate court held that claims for damages due to “symptoms caused by discomfort” do not fall within the...more

Are Recorded Oil and Gas Leases Title Transactions Under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act?

In a decision issued November 5, 2015 in the matter of Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Buell, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a recorded oil and gas lease is a title transaction under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“ODMA”),...more

Ohio Supreme Court Issues Second Key Decision Interpreting Dormant Mineral Act

On November 5, 2015, in Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al. v. Kenneth Buell, et al., 2015-Ohio-4551, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its second decision interpreting Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (the “ODMA”). The ODMA is a...more

Pennsylvania Court Holds Oil and Gas Reservations Do Not Terminate Upon Expiration of Lease

On Friday, October 9, 2015, a three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a reservation of oil, gas and mineral rights in a deed does not terminate merely because the lease under which those rights were...more

Buyer (and its Creditors) Beware: SemCrude District Court Finds That Purchasers Took Oil and Gas Free and Clear of Producers'...

Although almost eight years have lapsed since the chapter 11 cases of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based SemCrude L.P. were confirmed, many of the issues at the forefront of those cases are re-emerging in light of the recent uptick in oil...more

Commenters Weigh in on Proposed Regulations for Determining MLP Qualifying Income

IRS’ proposed MLP regulations generate flurry of specific industry-related comments and spur public hearing. “I’m mad as Hell, and, frankly, I’m not going to take it anymore.” — Paraphrase of concerned citizen and...more

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

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