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Who is a “Payor” Under the Texas Natural Resources Code?

You’ve secured the right leases. You’ve drilled nice wells in the right locations. Now, will you pay the right royalty owners? Follow Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. v. Apache Corporation, to be sure that you do....more

Farmout Agreement Worked Over By The Court

What could go wrong when the well recovers two times its costs in nine months? Plenty, as we see in Dimock v. Sutherland Energy....more

NPRI Reservation Survives Rule Against Perpetuities

Recall the Battle of the Bastards: The heroic Lady Sansa and the duplicitous Lord Baelish gallop over the hill to save the foolish Jon Snow from the heinous Ramsey Bolton. In similar fashion, but without the malnourished...more

Fraud Claim Rejected for Unreasonable Reliance

The ruling from the Supreme Court of Texas in JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al v. Orca Assets, G.P., L.L.C. was foreseeable. Experienced energy professionals who pass on the opportunity to examine title for themselves are...more

Landman Defeated By The Statute Of Frauds

Proving once again that gratitude is the rarest of human emotions, a contract between a landman and his client was deemed unenforceable, leaving the landman with nothing, even though he actually secured oil and gas leases for...more

An Oil and Gas Case to Expect From Louisiana, and Another From Texas

Anyone seeking stability in the law governing E&P activities in Louisiana will view the lower court decision as a grave error that must be corrected. Virtually every mortgage provides safeguards to protect collateral and...more

Opinions to Expect From the Texas Supreme Court

The Texas Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in three intriguing oil and gas cases. Here’s what you need to know about two of them (We’ll address the third case soon)....more

Trespass But no Damages in a Texas Case

What does it take these days to get money from a Texas jury? Not much, it seems; in XTO v. Goodwin the trick was convincing a higher court that you should keep it....more

Oil, Gas and the Electronic Transactions Act

In the spirit of Halloween, Le Norman Operating v. Chalker Energy Partners III is about a scary statute: The Texas Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, the UETA....more

Unit Operator Pays For a Problem of its Own Making

How many times must an operator suffer for a mistake in a unit declaration? Samson Exploration LLC v. T. S. Reed Properties Inc. makes it twice. (See Hooks v. Samson Lone Star for the first round). The Texas Supreme Court...more

Harvey and Climate Change, and Consideration of a Retained Acreage Clause

You’ve seen the headlines. The portrait is complete; the verdict is in; the clock has run down to zero. The devastation of Harvey is “unprecedented” and it’s all because of climate change. That’s not necessarily so, thanks...more

Does Texas Have a New “Rule” in Conveyancing?

Subject-to, reservations-from, and exceptions-to problems have been lurking in the shadows of Texas jurisprudence for a while now, and the courts have been all over the map in recent holdings....more

An Oil Patch Morality Play – Part 2

We recently discussed Freeman v. Harleton. The opinion shows the transaction as a bunco job. Here’s more: Bufkin and Wayne Freeman have done business together since the 1980s. They had a co-development agreement with...more

Pipeline Partnership Verdict Reversed

Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. et al v. Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. et al reversed one of the largest jury verdicts in Texas history. You will like this decision if... ...more

An Oil Patch Morality Play – Part 1

You are selling properties. The buyer thinks you own the deep rights but you know your long-time partner owns them. You attend the closing. You don’t tell the buyer that he’s got the ownership wrong. You are protected by a...more

Texas Subsurface Trespass Law Clarified

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

Suit For Bad Frac Job Requires a Certificate of Merit

You are a service company and you’ve been sued for a defective frac job. It looks scary but there’s no detail in the petition and no certificate of merit is attached. ...more

Did This “Deed” Convey Fee Simple or an Easement?

BNSF v. Chevron Midcontinent LP et al. asked whether a 1903 deed granted BNSF’s predecessor a strip of land in fee simple absolute or only an easement. The result: BNSF holds only an easement. There’s more to the case than an...more

Pipeline Loses Effort To Condemn Private Land

Private property rights advocates scored a big victory in a Texas condemnation case in the ongoing battle between pipelines and landowners over the power of eminent domain. (See our last post for a decision with the opposite...more

Keystone XL Can Take Land Before Appeals Are Exhausted

Two recent cases from the same Texas court reflect the ongoing uncertainty over the threat to private property rights posed by the Keystone XL and other pipelines....more

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