Category Archives: Oil and Gas Law

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 →

August 1, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week I made the journey to Menard, TX for the “All About Water” program where I spoke about Texas water law.  It was an absolutely group in attendance and I thoroughly enjoyed their questions and participation.  Thanks to Lisa Brown for the invitation to attend.  To those of you visiting form that program, welcome! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *New Mexico Slaughterhouse Withdraws Permit.  Valley Meats Co. has withdrawn its permit application with the New Mexico Environment Department for… Read More →

Texas RRC Proposed Rule Would Change Application Process for Pipelines Claiming Eminent Domain Power

The Texas Railroad Commission has published a proposed rule that would change the process for classifying a pipeline as a “common carrier” or a “gas utility.”  Common carrier and gas utility status is significant as pipelines that are common carriers or gas utility have the power of eminent domain, allowing them to take private property upon which to place their pipeline.  To read a prior post on common carrier pipelines, click here. Currently, in order to achieve common carrier status, a pipeline company need only indicate that they are a common… Read More →

July 25, 2014 Weekly Round Up

It has been a warm, humid week here in Aggieland!  Here are a few ag law stories making the news recently. * Plaintiffs’ Attorney Explains Case Against Prius Audit Firm.  An attorney representing 46 plaintiffs who were injured or killed from a 2011 listeria outbreak traced to a cantaloupe farm in Colorado wrote a very interesting blog about the suits his clients have filed against the audit firm who gave the farm a superior rating in the days just before the tainted fruit was shipped.  The attorney discusses the facts, legal… Read More →

Breaking News: Voters Will Have Final Say on Fracking in Denton

Denton voters will have the final say on whether fracking will be permitted within city limits. Last night, the Denton City Council voted 5-2 to reject the petition and unanimously to place the issue on the November ballot and let voters decide whether to ban fracking within Denton.  The vote came at approximately 3:00 am after eight hours of public discussion.  More than 100 citizens spoke at the meeting and more than 500 people were in attendance.  [Read more here and here and here.] Earlier this year, nearly 2,000… Read More →