Category Archives: Oil and Gas Law

November 21, 2014 Weekly Round Up

We made it to Friday!  Tomorrow I will be teaching my last law school class at the Texas A&M School of Law in Ft. Worth.  I have so enjoyed the opportunity to teach this class and was fortunate to have an absolutely outstanding group of students.  To those students visiting the blog, welcome and thanks for a great semester! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Railroad Commission Finalizes New Disposal Well Safety Rule.  The Texas Railroad Commission has promulgated a new… Read More →

New York Times Article Highlights Surface Owner Hardship in Texas Oil Boom

Last week, the New York Times published an article titled, “A County Resents Oil Drilling, Despite the Money It Brings In.”  The author featured Glasscock County, Texas and, in particular, cotton farmer Dennis Seidenberger.  The article did an excellent job at highlighting the hardships facing surface owners, who do not own any portion of the mineral estate underlying their land, in Texas. Mineral v. Surface Estates Under Texas law, ownership of the surface of the land and the minerals underlying the land may be severed.  This means that oftentimes,… Read More →

November 14, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Another weekend has arrived!  I hope you have all managed to stay warm during this first major winter snap of the season.  Here are a few ag law stories making news this week. *  Article Profiles Karnes City Response to Oil Boom.  The Texas Tribune ran an interesting article on how Karnes City, in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale, is handling the impacts of the current oil boom.  The article highlights the benefits that the oil field has brought to the town, including money for a new high school,… Read More →

Breaking News: Election Results Impacting Agriculutre Across the Country

Now that the dust has settled, here are the results for several of the ballot initiatives impacting agriculture that we have previously discussed on this blog. * Denton Becomes First Texas City to Ban Fracking.  Denton voters passed a controversial ban on fracking within the city limits.  Fifty-nine percent of votes cast were in favor of the measure.  The ban will nearly certainly result in litigation from mineral rights owners and the oil and gas industry.  [Read articles here and here.]   * Colorado Rejects Mandatory GMO Labeling.  Proposition 105,… Read More →

NM Supreme Court Opinion Important for Oil and Gas Companies and Royalty Owners

A recent decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court is important for all oil and gas companies operating in New Mexico, and also offers an important lesson for royalty interest owners across the country.  In The First Baptist Church of Roswell v. Yates Petroleum Corp., the Court ruled that the royalty owner was entitled to interest on monies held in a suspense account based on a state statute, despite a contractual agreement between the parties to the contrary.  [To read the full opinion, click here.] Background The plaintiffs represent a class of… Read More →

September 26, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week was another busy one as I was out and about speaking at programs in Austin, Huntsville, and Ozona.  Last Saturday, I was honored to be on a panel discussing the Future of Texas Agriculture at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin.  It was a wonderful event and the other folks on the panel, Blair Fitzsimons, Rep. Tracy King, Sid Miller, and Jim Sartwelle were absolutely fantastic.  I appreciate Evan Smith’s invitation to participate in this event.  To view the live blog overview of our session, click… Read More →

Interviews Related to Proposed RRC Eminent Domain Rule Change

As we previously discussed on this blog, the Texas Railroad Commission is currently considering a proposed rule change that would modify the requirements for a pipeline to be granted eminent domain authority as a “common carrier.”  The period for written public comment has now closed on the rule and a public hearing was held on this issue on Monday morning in Austin.  The Railroad Commission will now move forward with its evaluation of the rule and consideration of the comments received.  To view all comments sent to the Railroad Commission,… Read More →

September 6, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday, I enjoyed a trip to Lubbock to attend the planning meeting of the county extension agents in Districts 1 and 2.  Led by RPD, Danny Nusser, the agents worked hard to come up with program plans for 2015.  It sounds like there will be lots of great programs in the Panhandle and South Plains next year!  I appreciated the opportunity to attend. Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. * Eminent Domain Controversy Near Mumford.  A proposed rail yard has caused a… Read More →

August 29, 2014 Weekly Round Up

I spent last week running all over the state for presentations once again.  On Monday I was in Amarillo to discuss managing oil and gas contracts for farms and ranches, Tuesday found me in Georgetown discussing water law, Thursday I headed to San Antonio to discuss current hot topics in Agricultural Law with the South Texas Farm and Ranch Club, and finally on Friday I was in McKinney discussing drafting hunting leases at the North Texas Wildlife Management Program.  Thanks to the organizers of each event for the… Read More →

August 15, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week I was literally all across the state of Texas at various programs.  From Monahans discussing oil and gas leasing, pipeline easement negotiations, and water law, to Caldwell speaking on groundwater ownership, to Diboll discussing eminent domain and pipeline easements for forest landowners, to Corrigan on Friday discussing grazing leases, water law, and generational transfer.  Each stop had an outstanding turn out and great participants who were engaged and interested in the topics.  Folks like that make my job more fun!  A big thanks to all of… Read More →