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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

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

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