Category Archives: Oil and Gas Law

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Does an Oil Company Have to Fence Around Well To Protect Livestock?

Question: Does an oil and gas company who is drilling on ranch land have an obligation to put up a fence around the well to prevent livestock from being injured? Answer:  Believe it or not, the answer is no.  Texas law is clear that an oil and gas company is under no legal obligation to fence around operations areas to protect a surface owner’s livestock.  This can (and should) be changed by terms in an oil and gas lease or surface use agreement. First, let’s consider the applicable… Read More →

March 18, 2016 Weekly Round Up

I hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!  Here are a few of the ag law stories making news this week. * Senate rejects voluntary GMO labeling bill.  On Wednesday, the US Senate rejected a bill that would have created a voluntary GMO labeling system and would have prohibited states from imposing mandatory labeling requirements.  Proponents of the bill claim that GMOs are safe and that labeling should not be mandatory as it would increase food prices.  Further, they argue that allowing states to pass different… Read More →

Texas Oil & Gas Leasing Handbook Available

Last week, my colleague from Oklahoma State University, Shannon Ferrell, and I put on an oil and gas leasing workshop in College Station.  The program was well attended, participants asked excellent questions, and the final evaluations and comments were very positive from those who attended. The funding for this project was provided by the Southern Risk Management Education Center and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  We would also like to say a special thank you to Dr. Mark Waller, Tracy Davis, and Dusty Tittle for their… Read More →

February 5, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday I enjoyed the chance to attend and present the keynote address at the High Plains Irrigation Conference in Amarillo.  Thanks to Dr. Dana Porter for the invitation and welcome to those of you new to the blog from the conference. It was a rather slow week in the agricultural law realm, but here are a few stories in the news recently. * Oil and Gas Leasing Program Set for College Station.  Shannon Ferrell and I will be putting on a FREE oil and gas leasing workshop in College… Read More →

January 15, 2016 Weekly Round Up

This week I made the drive to Lubbock to speak at the “Seeking Solutions” extension meeting.  It was a great program and I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit with producers about agricultural law.  To those of you joining the blog from that event, welcome!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. * What You Need To Know About Selling Your Oil and Gas Interests.  Texas attorney Aimee Hess recently wrote a great blog post discussing the sale of mineral interests.  She offers some… Read More →

Texas Agriculture Law Year in Review (Part II): Oil

Yesterday, we looked at some of the major events in Texas agricultural law for 2015 related to water.  Today, we will look at the major agricultural law events having to do with oil and gas. * Texas Legislature prohibits local oil and gas production bans in most circumstances.  After Denton residents passed a bill prohibiting fracking in city limits, the Texas Legislature responded with House Bill 40.  The Bill, which was passed and signed by Governor Abbott, intends to pre-empt any local efforts to regulate oil and gas production,… Read More →

September and October Round Up (Part 2)

Today we continue our recap of important ag law stories that made the news in September and October.  If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here. Court of appeals affirms dismissal of nuisance suit against oil and gas company.  Landowners who filed a nuisance suit against Marathon Oil for odors, fumes, and dust related to oil production near their home were defeated in the San Antonio Court of Appeals earlier this month.  The Court held that the plaintiffs failed to prove causation between Marathon’s oil and gas production… Read More →

August 28, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Hard to believe we have reached the end of August!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Waters of the United States:  Where Are We Now?  I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman Magazine discussing where things currently stand with the “Waters of the United States” controversy involving the EPA’s new rule defining the scope of the federal Clean Water Act.  To read the article, click here.  Just yesterday, a North Dakota federal judge issued a temporary injunction preventing the… Read More →

San Antonio Court of Appeals Rules on Case Involving Trespass of the Mineral Estate

You may remember the case of Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC from this prior blog.   The case raised an interesting question of who–the surface owner or the mineral owner–must grant permission for the third-party to drill a horizontal well through the property to access an adjacent parcel of land.  Last week, the San Antonio Court of Appeals answered this question. Background The Briscoe Ranch sits just north of the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area (CWMA) in Dimmit County, Texas.  The Ranch includes the 3,250 acres just north… Read More →

Fixed v. Floating Royalty Clauses

Earlier this month, the San Antonio Court of Appeals issued two opinions in cases where the dispute centered around whether mineral reservations in a deed reserved a fixed or floating royalty.  These cases offer important illustrations of the care that must be used when negotiating not only mineral leases, but also when negotiating the sale or reservation of mineral interests. Legal Background A mineral owner may create a royalty interest out of either the total production achieved under a lease or based upon the landowner’s royalty interest. A… Read More →