Mineral Rights

News & Analysis as of

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

The Accommodation Doctrine Revisited: A Question of "Fairness to Both Parties"

As Texas holds tight to its position as the nation's number one oil and natural gas producing state, the Texas Supreme Court's decision to revisit the over forty-year-old accommodation doctrine, which requires oil and gas...more

B.C. Supreme Court Sets Aside B.C. Surface Rights Board Rent Review

In reasons released on May 30, 2014, the B.C. Supreme Court set aside the B.C. Surface Rights Board’s compensation award to a landowner in northern B.C. and remitted the case back to the Board for reconsideration: Progress...more

What Is Required For Gas To Be A Marketable Product In Oklahoma?

This article discusses the case law in Oklahoma giving rise to the question of what is required for gas to be a marketable product, the differing view of royalty owners and producers on that question, the uncertainties under...more

Rumors of the Death of “Title Washing” Are Greatly Exaggerated

On May 9, 2014, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reinvigorated a practice in Pennsylvania known as “title washing,” which has gained importance in recent years due to the development of the Marcellus Shale. Herder Spring...more

New Disclosures Required Regarding Subsurface Rights In Florida

On May 12, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law CS/CS/CS/HB 489, regarding subsurface rights disclosures. The bill creates a new Section 689.29, Florida Statutes. Beginning October 1, 2014, a seller of residential...more

UK Shale Exploitation: Securing Subsurface Access Rights

In February, King & Spalding was invited to participate in an access rights workshop run by UK oil and gas regulator, the Department for Energy & Climate Change ("DECC"). The purpose of the workshop was to invite...more

Hydraulic Fracturing Land Lease Negotiations - Energy Company and Landowner Rights

The objective of this presentation is to provide an overview of the main issues and documents related to the challenges confronting mineral owners in the negotiation of contracts with energy companies. In addition the paper...more

Ohio Oil & Gas Lease Disputes

I. General Provisions – “Mineral Rights” - A. Under Ohio law, the term “mineral” generally includes oil and gas unless the language in the granting instruments suggests the parties intended otherwise. Kelly v. Ohio...more

Fish And Wildlife Service Considers Increased Regulation Of Oil And Gas In Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on February 24 that it will be developing proposed regulations to adopt a significantly more stringent approach to the management of oil and gas activities associated with any...more

Oral Argument Recap: Ohio Supreme Court Considers Home Rule in Challenge to Zoning Ordinances Restricting Drilling

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held oral argument to determine the scope of Ohio’s constitutional guarantee of municipal “home rule.” The case—brought by the city of Munroe Falls, Ohio against Beck Energy Corp. for...more

“Houston, We May Have a Problem!” — Surface Owner Who Put up “Roadblock” to Oil Driller’s Use of Property to Service Wells in a...

The Texas Supreme Court’s anticipated ruling in the case of Key Operating Equipment Inc. v. Will Hegar and Loree Hegar could significantly impact the ability of oil and gas producers to gain access to wells that are part of...more

Reaping What You Sow – City Of Dallas Sued By Trinity East Energy

Suppose I own a large tract of land in the region of the Barnett Shale, the exclusive right to allow (or prevent) drilling on the aforesaid land, and a desparate need for funds. You have $19 million and the desire to exploit...more

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