Mineral Leases

News & Analysis as of

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

A Lesson in Lease Administration

What must a Louisiana lessee do to avoid statutory penalties for non-payment of royalty, and what must a royalty owner do to put the lessee on notice that royalties are not being paid? The answers are, more than the lessee...more

Certificated Natural Gas Storage Capacity Is Based on Science Not Sales, FERC Rules

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the Commission) issued an order on Thursday, March 19, 2015, refusing to allow the abandonment of certificated working gas capacity when the reason for the request was unrelated to...more

Must the Lessee Be Wary of the Executive Right Owner?

You are negotiating to take a big oil and gas lease. The run sheets show you are dealing with an executive right owner on behalf of himself and his NPRI owner. His proposed terms are odd: a lower-than-market royalty and a...more

Third Circuit refuses to permit Debtor Lessor to Reject an Oil and Gas Lease

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit confirmed that the Pennsylvania Landlord and Tenant Act is inapplicable to an agreement by a landowner authorizing the “lessee” to extract oil and gas lying beneath the property's...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Range Resources Case

On March 6, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court decided a case involving the duties owed to the non-executive holder of a nonparticipating royalty interest by both the executive rights holder and the lessee that negotiated the...more

The Executive Right and the NPRI – What is the Relationship?

The duty owed by the executive right holder to its non-participating royalty interest holder in Texas, long haunted by the ghost of Clinton Manges, is again examined. From KCM Financial, et al. v. Bradshaw and its...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Shades of Sheppard?

In Wagner & Brown, Ltd. v. Sheppard, 282 S.W.3d 419 (Tex. 2008), the Texas Supreme Court held that the termination of Sheppard’s lease (Sheppard was the Lessor) did not terminate her participation in a unit into which her...more

What Can I Get From My Lessee if I Ask the Court For It?

It s been said that if you don’t ask for what you want you’ll get what you deserve. Mr. Hooks took that truism to heart. Hooks v. Samson is about more than the discovery rule (See last week). Here are the other claims...more

Pennsylvania and Ohio High Courts Issue Decisions Impacting Oil and Gas Operators

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Declines to Extend Primary Term of Oil and Gas Lease - In Wayne Harrison, et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 75 MAP 2014 (Pa. Feb. 17, 2015), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania...more

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Equitable Tolling of Oil and Gas Lease’s Primary Term

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ruled that the primary term of an oil and gas lease would not be equitably tolled during the pendency...more

Texas Supreme Court Relaxes Its Grip on the Discovery Rule

The Texas Supreme Court – that elephants’ graveyard of claims and causes of action – has sided with a lessor-plaintiff who relied on the discovery rule to defeat a limitations defense. For the many with low expectations when...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court: Storage Activities Hold Production Rights Under "Dual Purpose" Lease

The explosion of natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin in recent years has led to litigation involving landowners trying to get out of existing oil and gas leases to take advantage of the fierce competition among...more

Louisiana Lessee Could be Liable for Withholding Information

A Quiz - You are in Louisiana and are described as having a “lesion beyond moiety”. What do you do? A. Contact your primary care physician for an appointment...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Confirms “Or” Means “Or”

On February 4, 2015, less than one month after hearing oral argument on the matter, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the April 2014 decision of Greene County Court of Common Pleas Judge William R. Nalitz in Warren v....more

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