Ambiguity Foils Right of Way Agreement

By Charles Sartain on April 28, 2021 Co-author Brittany Blakey The central issue in the Texas case of Cook v. Cimarex Energy Co.: Did Cook grant Cimarex a right of way across Cook’s land to the location of two Cimarex wells. No he didn’t. Reversing the trial court, the court of appeals concluded that two Contracts of Release were […]

What is Oil and Gas Law?

Oil and Gas Law in the United States is the branch of law that pertains to the acquisition and ownership rights in oil and gas both under the soil before discovery and after its capture, and adjudication regarding those rights. The law regulating oil and gas ownership in the U.S. generally differs considerably from laws in […]

Oil and gas regulation in the United States: overview

A Q&A guide to oil and gas regulation in the United States. The Q&A gives a high-level overview of the domestic oil and gas sector, rights to oil and gas, health safety and the environment, sale and trade in oil and gas, tax and enforcement of regulation. It covers transfer of rights; transportation by pipeline; […]

2020’s Bad Guys in Energy

Larceny, that business enterprise with a knack for (fleeting) success regardless of the state of the economy, was busy last year. As Obi-Wan Kenobe would say it: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy as the bad guys of energy in 2020. Here we go. PdVSA First up, as predictable […]

Pennsylvania Rule of Capture Still Bars Subsurface Trespass Claim

After a trial court order, two appellate opinions, a dissent, and another appellate opinion, the tension between a well operator and an adjacent mineral owner over whether hydraulic fracturing can constitute a subsurface trespass in Pennsylvania has, for the most part, been resolved. In Briggs v. Southwestern Production Company, several points of Pennsylvania law have been confirmed: […]

Solar Beats Minerals in a Texas Accommodation Doctrine Battle

In a precursor of disputes sure to come, in Lyle v. Midway Solar, LLC, a Texas court of appeals delivered a win for solar energy by applying the accommodation doctrine in favor of a solar developer’s actual use of the surface of the land over speculative future development of the mineral estate. The lesson for mineral […]

ExxonMobil Discovers That Amended Tax Returns Are Dangerous

In Exxon Mobil Corp. v. United States of America, from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, ExxonMobil learned the hard way that filing amended tax returns can be very costly. Some of the reasons why an amended return is dangerous are below, but first to the case: ExxonMobil was involved in […]

Climate Change for Energy Professionals – Part 1

By Charles Sartain on February 16, 2021 Gray Reed’s in-house Cassandra, energy partner Paul Yale, has set out to educate energy industry professionals, and anyone else willing to learn, on the latest developments in the climate change debate. Here is Part One, in which Paul reviews three books with differing points of view:  The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, by David Wallace-Wells; Apocolypse […]

Why Right-of-Way Matters

Why right-of-way through gate

All Title Matters Including a Right-of-Way Usually when there is a “play”, the client will want to know who owns the oil and gas rights, if they are open for leasing or if they are under a lease. Our job as a landman is to tell the client the facts and not what they want […]