Category Archives: Oil and Gas Law

Cases Illustrate Care Needed in Reserving Mineral Rights

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Two recent Texas appellate court decisions illustrate the level of care required when reserving mineral rights during a property sale.   Cade v. Cosgrove In September 2006, the Cades and Cosgroves entered into a contract by which the Cades agreed to sell property in Arlington, Texas, to the Cosgroves.  At the time of the sale, the mineral rights had been leased to an oil production company.  The parties’ sales contract stated clearly that the Cades were to reserve… Read More →

Texas Jury Awards $3 Million to Landowners

A recent Texas jury verdict has received national attention.  Last week, a 6-person Dallas County jury awarded $2.9 million to landowners who claim injuries from drilling and production of natural gas in the Barnett Shale.  The case, Parr v. Aruba Petroleum, is reported to be the first verdict of its kind in the United States. The plaintiffs owned 40 acres of land near Decatur, Texas.  Aruba Petroleum, an oil and gas production company, drilled 22 wells within two miles of the plaintiffs’ property.  Plaintiffs claim that the production caused a… Read More →

April 18, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I attended the 2014 Texas Water Conference in Dallas.  Amber Miller, an attorney from Lubbock, and I spoke to a large group of folks on an important Texas water issue:  Where do water wells drilled for use in the fracking process fit under the Texas exempt well statute.  I’ll have a blog post up explaining this issue and why it is important for Texans in the near future.  For those of you joining the… Read More →

April 11, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* I hope everyone had a fantastic week and has fun plans for the weekend!  This week I traveled out to Brownwood, Texas on Tuesday to give a presentation on agricultural leases, eminent domain, and pipeline easements.  A big thank you to Brown County Extension Agent Scott Anderson for putting this program together.  I enjoyed the chance to visit with several local landowners during and after the program, so welcome to those of you joining us from Brown… Read More →

Court of Appeals Decision Illustrates Importance of Royalty Language

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Hyder, decided by the San Antonio Court of Appeals last week, highlights the importance of royalty language in an oil and gas lease.  [Read full opinion here.] Background The lawsuit was filed by a group of royalty and overriding royalty holders who were party to a mineral lease with Chesapeake.  These royalty and overriding royalty owners alleged that Chesapeake breached the lease terms by impermissibly charging certain costs to royalty owners. The lease at issue was… Read More →

February 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* As you may have noticed, weekly round ups have been missing for the past couple of weeks.  I hope to continue the weekly updates of ag law news, and here is a list of major ag law stories that made the news in the month of February. *  Denton Residents Seek Signatures for Fracking Ban.  Citizens of Denton, Texas, seek to become the first city in the state to ban fracking within its bounds.  The Denton Drilling Awareness… Read More →

Summary of Oral Argument in Environmental Processing v. F.P.L. Farming

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Today the Texas Supreme Court heard oral argument from counsel in Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. F.P.L. Farming LTD., which was discussed in detail on this blog on Monday.   Essentially the case involves a claim that waste water from an oil and gas operation that was injected in an underground disposal well on EPS’ property has migrated under the property of FPL Farming, causing subsurface trespass.   The case has been submitted to the Court for decision. The justices… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court To Hear Landmark Underground Trespass Case This Week

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* On Tuesday, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. FPL Farming LTD., a landmark case involving the intersection of oil and gas production and private property rights.  The question facing the court is whether trespass can occur nearly 1 mile underground when waste water from oil production that is disposed of in an injection well migrates under the property of another landowner.  If you are interested, you may watch the argument online. Factual Background  In… Read More →

San Antonio Court of Appeals Considers Royalties from Horizontal Well

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Last Friday, the San Antonio Court of Appeals issued a decision in Springer Ranch, LTD . v. Jones, which involved the payment of royalties from a horizontal well.  Although the case is fact-specific based upon a specific contractual agreement between the royalty holders, it provides interesting insight into issues that arise due to the use of horizontal drilling. Background In 1956, a landowner held 8,545 acres in Webb and La Salle counties.  The landowner entered into a mineral lease with an… Read More →

December 20, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Here are some of the ag law-related stories making the news this week. *  Dallas Passes Strict Fracking Limitation.  The City of Dallas voted last week to impose one of the strictest fracking ordinances in the country, requiring oil wells to be 1500 feet away from “protected areas” including homes, schools, and churches.  This ordinance greatly increases the set back distance, which currently is 300 feet.  [Read article here.] *  New York Times Article Focuses on Rio… Read More →