News & Analysis as of

Well Drilling

Under Scrutiny: PA Superior Court Splits from Own Precedent and Allows Unilateral Oil & Gas Lease Severance in Montgomery

by Blank Rome LLP on

Lessees of oil and gas leases in Pennsylvania who have been assigned or are assigning less than all of the geologic strata under lease should give careful attention to whether those leases have been severed vertically by...more

A New Day for Louisiana Oil and Gas Lenders?

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

Lenders to Louisiana operators are likely to be reconsidering their business practices in light of Gloria’s Ranch v. Tauren et al. A rather ordinary lease termination suit resulted in the lender Wells Fargo being...more

Louisiana Second Circuit: Oil and Gas Lender Held Liable for Certain Mineral Lease Obligations

by Baker Donelson on

A recent opinion from the Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Circuit regarding Gloria’s Ranch, L.L.C. v. Tauren Exploration, Inc., has left a number of oil and gas lenders bellyaching. In this case, the Second Circuit found...more

Five Lessons Learned From Executing Shale Drilling Transactions

by Liskow & Lewis on

Shale drilling transactions typically involve (1) a party who holds oil and gas leases with underlying shale formations but who may not have the risk capital or expertise to explore such formations (the “Lease Party”) and (2)...more

Blame Game Fails Louisiana Casing Vendor

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

There’s no better place in the oil patch to play the blame game than 10,000 feet of leaky wellbore. What went wrong? In Justiss v. Oil Country Tubular Corporation, Justiss, a drilling contractor, entered into an IADC...more

An Unusual Way To Hold an Oil and Gas Lease

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

Here is what we believe is an unusual situation: A gas unit is formed. The gas well ceases to produce. Another gas well produces from an oil unit, but the lease at issue is not included in the oil unit. Is the lease...more

Louisiana Second Circuit Finds Holder of Mortgage Encumbering a Mineral Lease Solidarily Liable with Mineral Lessees for Damages...

by Liskow & Lewis on

In Gloria’s Ranch, L.L.C. v. Tauren Exploration, Inc., the Louisiana Second Circuit upheld a trial court’s ruling that the holder of a security interest in mineral leases was solidarily liable for damages under the Louisiana...more

Louisiana Second Circuit Provides Clarity on Production in Paying Quantities and Affirms Lease Cancellation Under Mineral Code...

by Liskow & Lewis on

On June 2, 2017 the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s judgment cancelling a mineral lease under Mineral Code article 140 and provided further clarity on a production in paying quantities...more

Major Decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals – Non-Participating Royalty Interest Owner Rights Clarified

On May 31, 2017, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issued a significant opinion regarding the clarification of rights for non-participating royalty interest owners (“NPRI”). In the opinion Gastar Exploration, Inc. v....more

Louisiana Forced Pooling – Timing is Important

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

Trigger warning for Texas readers: This entry will discuss forced pooling. You may now retreat to your “safe space”, where “no guvment-sumbitch-bureaucrat can conspire with [name of large oil company] to steal my stripper...more

Texas Supreme Court Discusses Rights Conveyed by a Mineral Lease

The recent Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Onshore, LLC F/K/A Andarko E&P Company, LP, decision of the Texas Supreme Court, which clarified the rights and obligations of owners of the surface property and the mineral...more

Drill on Through to the Other Side: No Trespass When Drilling Through Mineral Estate with Surface Use Agreement

by Blank Rome LLP on

Action Item: The Texas Supreme Court annunciated two critical points in Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P Onshore: (1) unauthorized interference may be a trespass only when it impacts the mineral lessee’s ability to exercise...more

Texas Subsurface Trespass Law Clarified

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

We know that in Texas the mineral owner has the right to explore for and produce the minerals. What does that leave for the surface owner? In Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Onshore, LLC the Texas Supreme Court tells us...more

Supreme Court Decides Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co.

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

On May 1, 2017, the Supreme Court decided Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co., No. 15-423, holding that a federal court has jurisdiction over a lawsuit against a foreign sovereign...more

Nigerian Natural Gas Drilling Rig Explosion Class Action Blown Away

by Carlton Fields on

The Northern District of California recently denied a motion for class certification in a case against Chevron Corporation connected to a 2012 explosion at a Nigerian natural gas drilling rig and the environmental impacts of...more

Colorado Court Confirms Commission Improperly Denied Petition For Rulemaking

On March 23, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a ruling reversing the trial court and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission which had denied the petitioners’ request that the Commission, when promulgating rules...more

Louisiana Supreme Court Denies Writ Application in XXI Oil & Gas v. Hilcorp

by Liskow & Lewis on

On March 24, 2017, the Louisiana Supreme Court declined to consider the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in XXI Oil & Gas v. Hilcorp. The Third Circuit’s decision involved the interpretation of Louisiana’s...more

US Army Corps of Engineers Updates Five-Year Nationwide Permits – USACE Generally Declines to Apply More Rigorous Limits, but...

by King & Spalding on

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reissued 52 nationwide permits (NWPs) and issued two new NWPs, along with general conditions and definitions. NWPs are a type of general permit authorized under...more

Blurry Boundaries of Oil & Gas Joint Ventures Under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act

by Locke Lord LLP on

In Sec. & Exch. Comm’n v. Sethi Petroleum, LLC, 4:15-CV-00338, 2017 WL 192666, at *1 (E.D. Tex. Jan. 17, 2017), the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, issued an opinion that clarifies the often-blurry boundaries...more

85th Texas Legislature: Oil and Gas Roundup

by BakerHostetler on

On Jan. 10, 2017, the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature convened in Austin, and already several bills are on the table that, if adopted, could impact the oil and gas industry in Texas. State Sen. Van Taylor,...more

Oil Industry Custom and the Model Form JOA: A Debate

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

We begin with an existential question: “The philosophy behind all of the model form agreements is that aggressive drilling under the JOA should be promoted and rewarded. Agree or disagree? ...more

The Rule Against Perpetuities is Alive and Enforceable in Oklahoma

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

Today we venture into Oklahoma, to be instructed on the Supreme Court’s treatment of the Rule Against Perpetuities. First, the Rule: No property interest is good unless it must vest, if all, not later than 21 years after...more

Fracking Fluid Dynamics: New Trade Secrets Movements

It is no secret that America’s energy industry depends upon the trade secret status of its products, techniques, and procedures for much of its continued success. As oil prices remain volatile, trade secret and intellectual...more

Interesting Stats from EIA on the Proliferation of Horizontal Drilling

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

“In 2015 nearly 77% of the most prolific U.S. oil wells, or those producing more than 400 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, were horizontally drilled wells. For about 85,000 moderate rate wells producing in 2015,...more

Louisiana Statutory Penalties Imposed on Operator

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

If you’ve ever tried to escape penalties for the operator/producer’s failure to comply with La. R.S §30:103.1 and §103.2, take comfort in XXI Oil & Gas, LLC v. Hilcorp Energy Company. You are not alone. No excuse has...more

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