Category Archives: Oil and Gas Law

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 →

Texas Supreme Court: Duty of Executive Rights Holder to Non-Participating Royalty Owner

Recently, the Texas Supreme Court clarified the duty owed by an executive rights holder to a non-participating royalty owner when negotiating an oil and gas lease.  KCM Financial LLC v. Bradshaw is an important opinion as it makes clear what obligations the executive rights holder has, and does not have when negotiating and signing mineral leases.  [Read full opinion here.] Basic Legal Background Generally, if not severed, a mineral owner possesses certain rights as part of mineral ownership.  These rights include the executive right, which is the right to… Read More →

April 6, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Because of the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals opinion last week in TCEQ v. Texas Farm Bureau, the weekly round up blog for last Friday got pushed to today. Last weekend, I attended my first Texas & Southwest Cattle Raiser’s Conference in Ft. Worth.  I was honored to give three presentations on grazing leases and pipeline easements and had an absolute blast!  To those of you joining from the Convention, welcome! Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. * Texas Supreme Court Hears Chesapeake… Read More →

March 20, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Spring is in the air!  Hope you are all enjoying some warmer temperatures, and hopefully, some rain!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Briscoe County Will Not Become Part of High Plains Water District.  Despite a TCEQ recommendation that the High Plains Water District annex Briscoe County under its jurisdiction, the District Board voted unanimously not to do so last week.  Numerous Briscoe County residents spoke against the annexation, claiming they were perfectly happy being unregulated by a groundwater conservation district…. Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Set Back Rules for Pipelines and Oil Rigs

Question:  Is there a rule requiring a certain setback distance between a home and an oil or gas well or pipeline? Answer:  There is no state-wide setback rule for oil and gas wells or pipelines in Texas.  The state agency charged with governing oil and gas production, the Texas Railroad Commission, has passed no such state-wide regulation.  According to the Texas Railroad Commission website, “The Railroad Commission does not regulate how close a gas or oil well can be drilled to a residential property.” Instead, the RRC has… Read More →