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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

An Indemnity Agreement Means What it Says

We are reminded in Claybar v. Samson Exploration that a court will (if it’s doing its job) enforce an agreement according to what it actually says, not by that which one party or the other would have liked it to say or...more

Lack of Proof Dooms Pugh Clause Defense

There are specific requirements for proving that an oil and gas lease has survived past its primary term. Fail to hit them all when the lease is challenged at the courthouse, wand disappointment will be order of the day....more

Mineral Title Examination – It’s Not Easy

Let’s get right to the takeaway: Despite the humble hourly rate operators are typically willing to fork over for title examination, the job isn’t easy and you’d better put your trust in a practitioner with expertise,...more

There is Another Way to Report on Global Warming

Are you “woke”* vis-vis-vis global warming and the coming-any-day-now destruction of the coral reefs, the arctic ice pack, polar bears, coastlines, the flora, the fauna, you, me, and the entire natural world as we know it? Me...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

Is the Allocation Well Debate About to Boil Over?

Issues surrounding the legality of allocation wells in Texas have been percolating for some time, and lately we’ve heard of potential litigation. ...more

Trespass Plaintiff: First, Prove Your Ownership

Chauvin v. Shell Oil Company et al is the potful of legal unpleasantness that can be stirred up by landmen trying to buy easements, leases, and the like. A number of plaintiffs – descendants of grantors of two parcels of...more

Can Emails Establish an Easement in Texas?

Email is the way we communicate these days. Whether emails create a contract is important if you’re thinking nothing short of a dead tree could ever bind anybody or, to the contrary, your goal is to establish an enforceable...more

Trump and the Oil Patch One Year In

Let’s take a look at what President Trump has done for the oil industry in his first year (This is not about decorum, dossiers, tweets, or Oprah’s inauguration.) As in the past I refer to sources whose opinions and insights...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

2017’s Bad Guys in Energy

Once again we look back at the continuing cavalcade of crooks, criminals, miscreants and, to put it kindly, morons the less intellectually gifted, who met justice face-to-face in 2017. This year’s class includes a preacher,...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

Mineral Conveyance Thwarted by a Spendthrift Provision

In Bradley v. Shaffer, Darrell, a beneficiary of a mineral trust established by his grandparents, purported to convey to Bradley his mineral interests that were subject to the trust and any interest held in trust that he...more

Ohio Takes a Position on Market-Value-at-the-Well Royalty Clauses*

In Ohio, in calculating royalties in a market-value-at-the-well lease (as distinguished from a “proceeds” lease), post-production costs are to be shared proportionately by the working interest and royalty owners. ...more

A Twist in Oil Patch Arbitration

Would you trust your $12 million arbitration to accountants rather than lawyers? Sometimes it makes sense. In Order_Apache v. YPF SA, delegating an accounting dispute to accountants was right. The problem was in the...more

The Oil Patch, the Single Business Enterprise Doctrine, and Veterans Day

Let’s suppose that someone (You? The other guy?) who operates wells in which others have an interest organizes the enterprise so that the owner of the leases, the owner of the overrides, the operator, several service...more

A Partition Deed Fails in Texas

Cases like Hahn v. Gips et al are like eating your broccoli – not so tasty but lots of fiber. The “fiber” here is the effect of a partition deed in which not all the cotenants join....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

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

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