Oil & Gas Commercial Leases

News & Analysis as of

Outer Continental Shelf Leasing: BOEM Withdraws Controversial Sole Liability Orders

On February 17, 2017, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”), which manages oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf, announced that it is withdrawing previously-issued orders to sole liability property...more

Potential Changes to the Oil and Gas Lease Protection Package: Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Producers Need to Prepare for New...

The Pennsylvania legislature is actively considering new legislation that, if passed in its current form, would affect how both producers and non-operating joint venture partners report royalty information, and that would...more

News from Second and State

Weekly Wrap - The capitol was abuzz as the state legislature got down to business this first full week of the 2017-2018 legislative session. The House Committees were reorganized for the new term on Monday, and the next...more

BOEM Suspends Implementation of New Financial Assurance Requirements

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced Friday, January 6, that it would suspend the implementation of the new financial assurance requirements relating to decommissioning obligations of lessees’ facilities on...more

Louisiana State and Federal Courts Split Over Parties Entitled to Reports Under La. R.S. 30:103.1

La. R.S. 30:103.1 requires operators or producers of oil and gas units created by the Louisiana Commissioner of Conservation to provide reports containing information related to well costs and production to owners of...more

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Case on “Capability of Production” Under Shut-In Clause

On Sept. 2, the Texas Supreme Court granted review in a case that may clarify when a shut-in well’s capacity for production in paying quantities is determined. In BP America Production Company v. Red Deer Resources, LLC, No....more

BOEM Unveils Tougher Guidelines for Supplemental Bonding on the US OCS

BOEM Unveils Tougher Guidelines for Supplemental Bonding on the US OCS July 21, 2016 The new guidelines restrict the ability of a company to rely on the financial strength of co-lessees to avoid additional supplemental...more

Tightening the Timeline for Original Condition: the First Circuit Denies Writ from Ruling Applying Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine...

In the watershed Corbello decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed a $33 million award—the cost to restore property valued at $108,000 to its “original condition” after it was damaged by oil and gas operations.  If...more

Of Formal Offers and Multipliers: Court of Appeal Explains Costs Consequences in Key Oil and Gas Decision

In Stewart Estate v. TAQA North Ltd, (Decision) the Alberta Court of Appeal (Court) released its costs decision after a complex and lengthy appeal involving multiple appellants and respondents involved in a dispute regarding...more

When Contract is Silent, Accommodation Doctrine Applies to Water Rights Disputes

A case that has been closely followed by oil and gas and other interests which involves groundwater disputes has now been decided by the Texas Supreme Court. In Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC, v. The City of Lubbock, decided on May...more

Another Washout Case

The El Paso Court of Appeals recently continued the trend of Texas courts to allow washouts unless strictly forbidden by agreement. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. TRO-X, L.P., 031816 TXCA8, 08-15-00158, March 18, 2016....more

PA Opinion Reassures Stakeholders That Estoppel By Deed Applies to Oil and Gas Leases

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has recently confirmed that the doctrine of estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases and does not require detrimental reliance. See Shedden v. Anadarko, No. 103 MAP 2014, --- Pa. ---...more

Pennsylvania Court: Sublease of Production Rights Does Not Sever “Dual-Purpose” Oil and Gas Leases

In a published opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that utilization of the subject land for gas storage held production rights under a “dual-purpose” lease providing for both storage and production. See Loughman v....more

The Best Protection: Safeguards in Purchasing Distressed Oil and Gas Assets

In the current environment of depressed prices for oil, natural gas and related liquids, oil and gas wells, leases and properties are coming on to the market for sale. These assets typically are made available through either...more

Not So Fast My Friend: Implied Covenant to Develop and Non-Apportionment Subdivision Tracts

I can acquire a 2,000-acre lease in Ritchie County, West Virginia, held by production from one well, drilled in 1905. I can acquire a 100-acre lease with an affidavit of nonproduction from an individual who has owned...more

Ohio Supreme Court: Form Oil and Gas Lease Not Void as Against Public Policy

Earlier this week, in an unsurprising but nevertheless meaningful decision, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the standard form oil and gas lease at issue was not “perpetual,” and thus was not void as against...more

Fourth Circuit Joins Courts in Pennsylvania and Ohio in Holding that Dual Purpose Oil and Gas Lease Is Not Severable

As we have often reported, landowners’ efforts to evade the plain terms of “dual purpose” leases, providing for both production and natural gas storage, have almost universally failed. Most recently, on December 28, 2015, the...more

Appellate Review of Downhole Cases: The Supreme Court Repairs the Third Circuit’s Broken Manifest Error Standard in Hayes Fund for...

The Louisiana Supreme Court recently issued a decision in a downhole damages case, reversing the Third Circuit’s misguided application of the manifest error standard of review. Hayes Fund for the First United Methodist Church...more

Auction set for NJ offshore wind sites

The U.S. government has scheduled an auction for the rights to lease two areas of federal ocean space off New Jersey for offshore wind energy development. The auction, to be held November 9, 2015, will be the fifth...more

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies When Parties to an Oil and Gas Lease May Allocate Post-Production Costs by Agreement

The Texas Supreme Court recently decided Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Hyder, providing a notable win for royalty interest holders. In a close 5-4 decision, the Texas Supreme Court held that Chesapeake had improperly...more

Pennsylvania Court: Using Property for Gas Storage Holds Production Rights Under “Dual Purpose” Leases

A recent trial victory for Range Resources – Appalachia LLC and Columbia Energy Ventures LLC (CEV) fills gaps left by the prior leading decisions on “dual purpose” storage and production leases, and cements the rights of...more

FTC Narrows Scope of HSR Reporting Exemption for Certain Acquisitions

On July 20, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released revisions to its interpretation of the rule, 16 C.F.R. §802.5, that exempts certain acquisitions of “investment rental property assets” from reportability under...more

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

Considerations and Consequences of a Bankruptcy Filing in the Oil and Gas Industry

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of an oil and gas company will likely have broad implications for a wide range of parties. Certain pervasive agreements in today’s oil and gas industry generate substantial, high-dollar...more

Consider The Retained Acreage Clause

Have you ever wondered about the original purpose of the retained acreage clause? According to Professor Kramer, it was “to prevent the lessee from losing those portions of a lease that had productive wells thereon if the...more

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