Mineral Rights

News & Analysis as of

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

Texas Supreme Court to Decide Whether Groundwater Estate Should Be Granted Accommodation Status Similar to Mineral Estate

On October 14, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court heard argument in a case styled Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC v. The City of Lubbock, which dealt with the question of whether the accommodation doctrine should apply when a groundwater...more

Paradigm Shift: Hydraulic Fracturing, Shale Development and Energy Abundance

As is commonly held by energy sector experts, the game-changing development of the shales and the resurgence of natural gas as a virtually new, huge, versatile, long-term fuel, with a shrinking environmental footprint, is...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

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

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

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

Where There Is A Well There Is A Way - Out Tract Title Issues Regarding Horizontal Wells

Oh for the days of simplicity when a wellbore tract meant just that—a piece of property upon which a well has been located, drilled, and touched down all within the same tract. Vertical wells were so simple for title...more

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal: No Surface Activity Means No Duty to Consult First Nations

In its recent decision in Buffalo River Dene Nation v. Saskatchewan (Energy and Resources), the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan held that the government was not required to consult the Buffalo River Dene Nation (BRDN) before...more

Oil and Gas Restructurings: Exploration and Production Companies Face Unique Issues

The recent drop in oil prices will likely spur a flurry of industry restructurings, governed by a complex set of bankruptcy and state laws. Introduction - At the close of business on December 31, 2014, the...more

Beneath the Surface: Entek GRB, LLC v. Stull Ranches, LLC and the Continuing Battle Between Surface Owners and Subsurface Owners

On August 14, 2014, the Tenth Circuit vacated and remanded the lower court’s decision regarding a dispute between a surface owner’s and a subsurface owner’s respective rights to access and enjoy land and property rights. ...more

More Seismic Rumbling in Louisiana

In Olympia Minerals et al v. HS Resources, et al, the Louisiana Supreme Court addressed a decision we discussed in a February entry by affirming in part, reversing in part, amending in part and remanding (because why do one...more

Special Edition: Title Insurance Regulatory and Legislative Update

New York Title Insurance Agent Licensing Statute: Business entities and individuals who meet the conditions set forth in New York Insurance Law section 2101(y)(1) are required to become licensed. Business entity licensees...more

Minerals Matter - Autumn 2014

Welcome to the latest edition of Minerals Matters. Whilst the economic picture has certainly improved over the last six months, there have been a number of stops and starts along the way. Data suggests further...more

The Well Operator Should Have Listened To My Mother

My mother used to give us good advice. For example: Don’t lie … do your homework. Sabella v. Appalachian Development Corporation agrees with my mother. Sabella bought minerals in 1997 under 66 acres in Warren...more

Delay Strikes Down Another Plaintiff

Why am I always reporting on plaintiffs who wait too long to file their lawsuit? In the latest Texas case, Trahan v. Mettlen, the Trahans sued in 2010 on a 2006 warranty deed....more

Faulty Property Description Haunts Louisiana Servitude

Halloween is approaching, so let’s talk poltergeists – troublesome spirits that haunt a specific location. Where do they come from? In Quality Environmental Processes, Inc. v I.P. Petroleum Company, Inc., it was from a faulty...more

North Dakota Reminds Negotiators: Be Careful What You Say

Do you think that what you say when negotiating a mineral lease does not matter once the agreement is inked and contains boilerplate language declaring it to “supersede all prior negotiations” and “be the complete agreement...more

Partition Suit Decision Could Be Problematic for W.Va. Oil & Gas Operators

Based on a recent decision in West Virginia’s 3rd Judicial Circuit, which includes Doddridge, Pleasants and Ritchie counties, the use of litigation in the form of partition suits may be more problematic than it otherwise has...more

New Mexico Supreme Court Undermines Validity Of Standard Royalty Agreements

On September 15, 2014, the New Mexico Supreme Court entered a decision in First Baptist Church of Roswell v. Yates Petroleum Corp., a case that could call into question the validity of royalty agreements and division orders...more

Drilling at depth – proposed changes to subterranean rights

The government’s consultation on underground drilling access for the extraction of gas, oil and geothermal energy came to an end on 15 August 2014. The consultation sought views on the government’s proposal to introduce new...more

Greater Guidance Comes To Calif. For Land Appraisals

Courts have long recognized that valuing mineral rights in eminent domain proceedings is inherently speculative, which can lead to wide swings in property valuations. So how can appraisers, property owners and public agencies...more

Court Provides Guidelines on Valuing Natural Resources in Eminent Domain Proceedings

Valuing mineral rights in eminent domain proceedings is inherently speculative and can lead to wide swings in property valuations. So how do appraisers best deal with the uncertainty involved in mineral exploitation? The...more

Rumsfeld, Morrison and the Discovery Rule in Texas

In August 1999, Brock and Tipton signed a Farm and Ranch Contract by which Tipton would acquire 519 acres in Montague County. (Lots of Brocks were parties to the contracts and the suit. I refer to them as one for...more

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