Mineral Rights

News & Analysis as of

Gavel to Gavel: Shifting water courses may affect property rights

As anyone who has spent significant time near a western Oklahoma river is likely aware, our water courses tend to be shallow, with beds composed of loose, sandy soil. These characteristics make western Oklahoma rivers...more

Operator – Don’t Get Burned by Paying an Insolvent Contractor

Just received notice of a Texas subcontractor’s mineral lien? DO NOT continue to pay the contractor. He hasn’t paid the subcontractor. Think you owe nothing on the well on which the lien will be filed? Think what you owe the...more

Significant Developments in Canadian Energy – for the Month of October 2016

October 3, 2016 – DualEx Energy International Inc. has entered into an Alberta oil and gas asset purchase and sale agreement, and has also entered into two private Alberta oil and gas company share purchase agreements....more

Struggling to Produce: Heirs to Claimed Royalty Interest Acquired in Late 1800s in 9,200-acre Tract in Texas Fail to Pass...

On Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, dozens of claimed heirs to a one-half mineral interest allegedly obtained in the late 1800s in a 9,200-acre tract of land in Brooks County, Texas, filed a Petition for Review with the Texas Supreme...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

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

Title Suit Booted for Failure to Join Parties

Longoria v. ExxonMobil is like throwing a big party but failing to invite all the right guests. The Longorias – 59 of them – sued producer-defendants over ownership of 9,200 acres in Brooks County, Texas, acquired in the...more

What’s Mine, Is Yours - Adverse Possession Against the Co-Owner in West Virginia

The question of whose land and/or minerals is whose in West Virginia is as old as the Appalachian Mountains. When it comes to natural gas titles and possession, one must take heed. Adverse possession is a doctrine under...more

The Shale Play Today - Second Quarter 2016

In This Issue: A National Energy Plan: Should We Have One? Do We Have One? If So, Is It Working? Before ultimately answering the questions posed in the title above on a National Energy Plan, in full disclosure it...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

"Recent Case Highlights Opportunity for Distressed Exploration and Production Companies"

On March 8, 2016, a bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York issued a much-anticipated decision, In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation, that will undoubtedly influence the reorganization strategies of certain...more

Bankruptcy Court Rules Gathering Agreements Can Be Rejected - Potential Significant Impacts on Midstream Companies

On March 8, 2016, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”) ruled from the bench in In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. in a case of first impression that a midstream gathering agreement...more

Sabine Court Gives 'Non-Binding' Ruling That Gathering Agreements Are Not Covenants Running with the Land Under Texas Law

After extensive briefing and hearing oral arguments related to Sabine's motion to reject two gathering agreements with Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering as well as two gathering and handling agreements with HPIP Gonzales...more

A Railway Is Not a Mine: Ontario Court of Appeal Rules on Surface Rights in Unpatented Mining Claims

On February 24, 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in 2274659 Ontario Inc. v. Canada Chrome Corporation, confirming the interpretation of sections 50 and 51 of the Ontario Mining Act (Act) as they relate...more

Renewable Energy Case Law Update

This case law update describes a selection of renewable energy cases from 2015. It is not intended to address all renewable energy cases over the previous year, but rather, highlight a few that are more likely to be of...more

What if a Partition Deed Doesn’t Consider the Minerals?

Did Moses worry about the mineral rights when he parted the Red Sea? Maybe Charlton Heston knows. What we know is that 3,500 years later if you plan to partition surface rights, the time to pay attention to the minerals is...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

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

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