Category Archives: Oil and Gas Law

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 →

July 31, 2015 Weekly Round Up

*Don’t forget to nominate the Texas Agriculture Law Blog as one of the Top 100 Legal Blogs, click here.* The summer sure seems to be flying by and here we are at the end of July!  Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. * Investigation into whether Big Bend Pipeline Should Face Federal Regulation.  You may remember from this prior blog that a pipeline is proposed to transport natural gas between the Permian Basin and Mexico, through Big Bend.  This week, the Federal… Read More →

Texas Exempt Wells: Where Does Fracking Fit?

I am excited to have an article, “Texas Exempt Wells: Where Does Fracking Fit?,”  published in the current issue of the Natural Resources Journal.  This issue of the NRJ focuses on water and offers articles in a variety of topics.  To view the current issue, click here. In our article, Lubbock-based agricultural law attorney Amber Miller and I offer an in depth analysis of the Texas exempt well statute and ask the important question of where water used for hydraulic fracturing fits under this statutory provision.  Here is a… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: How Do I Find Out If I Own Mineral Rights?

Question:  I own property in Texas.  How can I find out whether I own the mineral rights as well? Answer: Without question, this is one of the most common questions I am asked by Texas landowners.  As the question notes, in Texas, mineral ownership can be (and often is) severed from surface ownership.  Oftentimes these severances occurred several generations ago, leaving current owners unsure of their ownership status.  Further complicating the issue is the fact that ownership of mineral rights may be divided in a number of ways,… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Finds for Royalty Owners in Hyder Case

In June, the Texas Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion in a much-watched dispute between royalty owners and oil and gas producer, Chesapeake Exploration, LLC.   [Read full opinion here.] This case is extremely important for all Texas royalty and overriding royalty owners to be aware of as it illustrates contractual language sufficient to prevent the production company from deducting post-production costs from royalty payments, and that which is not sufficient to prevent such deductions.  There is a fine line between sufficient and insufficient language, which can have… Read More →

July 10, 2015 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it to another Friday!  Here are some of the interesting ag law stories in the news this week.  Also, for those of you on Twitter, be sure to follow me @Tiff Dowell for more ag law news throughout the week! * Oklahoma Supreme Court Allows Suits by Property Owners Against Oil and Gas Companies for Earthquakes.  An Oklahoma property owner who claims her home was damaged due to an earthquake she claims was caused by a saltwater disposal well can pursue her legal claim  against numerous… Read More →

May 22, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  This week I was able to visit with the Camp County Cattleman’s Association via the internet at their monthly meeting about some Frequently Asked Ag Law Questions.  I thank Spencer Perkins for the chance to visit with that group and welcome those new readers joining from that event!  It has been a busy ag law week, with lots of Texas-specific stories in the news. *Governor Abbott Signs “Local Fracking Ban Ban” Into Law.  On Monday, I blogged about the bill on Governor Abbott’s desk that would… Read More →

May 1, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Last week I made the journey to the Hill Country for the Bennett Trust Land Stewardship Conference, held in Kerrville.  Many kudos to organizer, Larry Redmond, for putting together an outstanding program!  To those of you new to the blog from the Conference, welcome! Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *Texas Supreme Court Will Not Hear Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority.  Big water law news happened today when the Texas Supreme Court denied petitions to consider an appeal in Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority.  Stay… Read More →