HFB Publishes Texas Supreme Court Update

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By: Michael K. Reer

On July 17, 2017, the American Oil and Gas Reporter published “Texas Supreme Court Decision Clarifies Surface Estate Rights,” a Harris, Finley & Bogle analysis of three recent Texas Supreme Court decisions, Lightning Oil, Forest Oil, and Red Deer Resources. In Lightning Oil, the Texas Supreme Court determined that, based on the facts presented, permission from the surface estate owner alone was sufficient to allow a nonlessee operator to drill through the subsurface to reach minerals on an adjoining tract. In Forest Oil, the Texas Supreme Court addressed whether the Texas Railroad Commission has exclusive or primary jurisdiction over claims for environmental contamination. In Red Deer Resources, the Texas Supreme Court considered the application of a shut-in royalty clause to a 2,000 acre lease held by a well that produced fewer than 10Mcf per day.

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