Category Archives: Oil and Gas Law

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  Valley Meats Co. has withdrawn its permit application with the New Mexico Environment Department for… Read More →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 →

July 11, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday, I had the great opportunity to speak at the American Quarter Horse Association’s Youth Excellence Seminar here in College Station.  It does not seem like that long ago I was going to these type of conferences as a 4-H and FFA member!  I hate to pick favorites, but I’ll admit that was the most fun presentation that I’ve given.  The kids asked great questions, had thoughtful debates, and were extremely interested in the ag law issues raised.  Looking at the 40 young people in that room, I’d say our future is in… Read More →

July 3, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Last week I was in Denton, Texas speaking at the Denton County Agricultural Law Program.  County Extension Agent Brandon Boughen put together a great program for participants that included Wayne Hayenga on estate planning and myself discussing water law and agricultural leases.  Thanks to Brandon for all of his hard work! It has been a very busy week for news related to agricultural law.  Major decisions were issued by the New York Court of Appeals regarding local agencies’ rights to prohibit oil and gas production (read blog here) and by… Read More →

Breaking News: New York’s Highest Court Upholds Oil and Gas Production Ban

New York’s highest appellate court issued an important decision today related to oil and gas production and the authority of municipalities to ban production in their bounds.  This decision comes while a state-wide moratorium barring fracking in New York continues and has been in place since 2008. Background The combined cases involved legal challenges to oil and gas production bans by the Town of Dryden (located within the Marcellus Shale region) and the Town of Middlefield.  The Dryden ordinance prohibited all oil and gas exploration, extraction, and storage activities… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court: Implied Surface Use Includes All Pooled Tracts

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court reversed both the Washington County trial court and First Circuit Court of Appeals (Houston) in Key Operating & Equipment, Inc. v. Hegar.  I previously blogged about the court of appeals opinion and the Supreme Court review of this case here. Background This case involved two neighboring tracts of land known as the Richardson tract and the Curbo tract.  Key Operating leased the mineral rights on the Richardson tract since 1987.  From 1994 to 2000,… Read More →

June 6, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I was able to visit with the Taylor County Marketing Club about the current hot topics in agricultural law.  We talked about several pending Texas cases involving water law and oil and gas law, the GMO labeling debate going on across the nation, and the pending AQHA appeal in the cloning lawsuit.  They were a great group and I enjoyed the chance to chat with them about these important issues.  Thank you to Robert… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Considering Important Oil and Gas Case

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* The Texas Supreme Court is currently considering Key Operating & Equipment Co. v. Hegar, a case that will have important implications for both the oil and gas industry and surface owners across Texas.  Oral argument was held in February and the case is now pending decision by the Court. Background This dispute involves two adjacent tracts of land in Washington County known as the Rosenbaum-Curbo tract and the Richardson tract.  Key operating began production on the… Read More →