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Oil and Gas in Texas: Some Law and a Little History

Welcome to the binary edition, where you have a choice: An informative and engaging stroll through the history of the oil and gas business in Texas, or a wonkish and also informative legal analysis....more

Lessons from a Liftboat Contract

Semco, LLC v. The Grand, LTD. is nominally about a $15 million liftboat construction contract and the legal issues one would expect after a long trial and a big verdict. This post is more about how to administer and perform a...more

What’s New in the Methane Debate?

Occasionally we visit issues larger than one-off courthouse decisions. Here are a few selected stories on the extent to which fracking contributes to rising levels of methane and, maybe, to climate change. There are...more

An “Appendage” Determines a Louisiana Royalty Dispute

In Glassell Producing Company v. Naquin, the question was: Did a conveyance among siblings create a real right in property, or was it an appendage of a lease that ceased to burden the property once that lease was...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

Informal Description Dooms Oil and Gas Leases

Conoco Phillips Company v. Ramirez et al is a helpful reminder when preparing a document transferring title: “Family vernacular” is a great way to communicate in wedding toasts and funeral eulogies, not so much in land...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

Hurricane Harvey and Oil and Gas Operations – What To Do

In light of the adverse effects the storm, floods and tornadoes will have on oil and gas production, transportation and processing operations, we offer several bits of advice: Force majeure - Winds and floods are among...more

A New Day for Louisiana Oil and Gas Lenders?

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

Texas Supreme Court Dabbles in Bankruptcy Law

Noble Energy Inc. v. ConocoPhillips Company, a 6-to-3 Texas Supreme Court decision, is a reminder of two things: How parties to a property transaction describe what’s being acquired and what’s being left behind can have...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

Seismic Expenses are Deductible for the Seismic Shooter

Benjamin Franklin would be relieved. Just when it seems that the taxman always wins, he doesn’t. In CGG Americas, Inc. v. Commissioner the U. S. Tax Court concluded that a taxpayer need not own underlying hydrocarbons in...more

How Not to Secure an Oil Well Lien in Louisiana

Rozel Operating v. Crown Point Holdings, LLC, et al., reminds one of the need to understand and apply the meaning of terms used in a statute one is attempting to enforce. And imaginative theories don’t work without evidence...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

Another Oil Field Contamination Plaintiff Waits Too Long

Suggestions to Texas lessors after ExxonMobil v. Lazy R Ranch, et al: Claiming that you were not aware of contamination from oil spills you’ve know about for 20 years is a tough sell, and suing your long-time lessee for...more

Blame Game Fails Louisiana Casing Vendor

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

Section 232 and Oil Country Tubular Goods

By now, you’ve heard the Trump Administration is conducting a “Section 232 Investigation” into the effect of imported steel and aluminum products on national security. Here’s a primer on the topic....more

An Unusual Way To Hold an Oil and Gas Lease

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

Why Leaving the Paris Climate Accord Could Be a Good Thing

The climate change debate is too complex, agenda-driven, and politicized to be addressed adequately in these pages. But the hysteria and faux outrage over President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord...more

Texas Mineral Deeds Survive the Statute of Frauds

According to Mr. Bumble, the law is an ass. I disagree (Know a lawyer who’s an ass? That’s another conversation). In Davis v. Mueller the law was not an ass, per se, but as applied by the Texas Supreme Court it showed little...more

Limitations Runs on Nuisance Claims

When must a neighbor sue for nuisance and trespass or else be barred by limitations? It’s a tricky question. In Town of Dish et al v. Atmos Energy et al, the Texas Supreme Court concluded that the claims were time-barred. The...more

Louisiana Forced Pooling – Timing is Important

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 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

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