The battle lines between pipeline companies and landowners are still being drawn. In Bayou Bridge Pipeline v. 38.00 acres nobody had a gun, nobody got taken away, and one side was right and one side was wrong.

There were two survivors:

  • The constitutionality of Louisiana’s statutory scheme for expropriation of private land for oil pipelines, and
  • BBP’s gamble to trespass and begin work before a judgment was obtained.  As BBP said, “time is money”.

Note to non-Louisiana lawyers: Unlike Texas at least, a Louisiana pipeline must obtain a judgment of expropriation before going on the property.
Continue Reading Louisiana Oil Pipeline Expropriation System is Constitutional

Co-author Rusty Tucker

In Hlavinka v. HSC Pipeline P’ship, LLC, a Texas court denied a pipeline company’s claim that it is a common carrier with the power of eminent domain.

The Hlavinkas own 15,000+acres in Brazoria County. HSC owns pipeline systems in Texas. HSC’s manager Enterprise Products applied to the Railroad Commission for a permit to operate a new 44-mile long pipeline for the transportation of products including polymer grade propylene. The parties were unable to agree on terms for an easement across four tracts of land.

HSC filed a condemnation suit. The Hlavinkas challenged HSC’s eminent domain power asserting that the pipeline was not for public use and propylene is not crude oil. As a result, they alleged, HSC is not a common carrier and thus does not have authority to condemn private property. HSC filed a motion for partial summary judgment to establish its right to condemn as a matter of law.
Continue Reading Status as a Common Carrier Denied by a Texas Court

Co-author Rusty Tucker

San Miguel Electric Coop is a Texas nonprofit electric cooperative that owns and operates a power plant that supplies electricity to 38 Texas counties. After a four-week absence, they return to these pages, this time in DCP Sand Hills Pipeline, LLC v. San Miguel Elec. Coop., Inc. Read on to learn about the “paramount importance doctrine”.

Continue Reading Lignite Lease Prevails Over Pipeline Easement

ernieCo-Author Martin P. Averill

Is Denbury’s Green Pipeline a common carrier? That question is alive and well in Texas. In Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd. v. Denbury Green-Texas Pipeline, LLC,  the Beaumont court of appeals reversed a summary judgment granted by the trial court to Denbury, applying the Texas Supreme Court’s “reasonable probability” of

The first step in successfully challenging the Keystone Pipeline: Choose a court that has jurisdiction. Mr. Bishop learned that lesson the hard way in Bishop v. TransCanada Keystone Pipeline.

Mr. Bishop lived in Nacogdoches County, Texas, when TransCanada attempted to negotiate an easement and pipeline right-of-way. Those negotiations failed and TransCanada brought a condemnation proceeding.