Here we continue our discussion of the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in Piranha Partners et al. v. Joe B. Neuhoff et al. determining that an assignment of an overriding royalty in minerals unambiguously conveyed the override in production under an entire lease. The Court concluded that circumstances surrounding the transaction didn’t matter. Here was the
The question for the Texas Supreme Court in Piranha Partners et al. v. Joe B. Neuhoff et al. was whether an assignment of an overriding royalty in minerals conveyed the override only in production from the identified well (the B #1-28), in production from any well drilled on the identified land (NW/4, Section 28)…
Co-author Kelley Clark Morris
Generally, if your will leaves your beloved “all … right, title and interest in and to”, said beloved would receive the entirety of your interest, whether a surface estate, mineral estate, or both. But in ConocoPhillips, et al. v. Ramirez, et al., the Texas Supreme Court looked beyond the…
Co-author Lydia Webb
Ever since the Sabine Oil and Gas Corp. bankruptcy (the top of the first, If it were baseball), where a New York court construed Texas property law to hold that a gathering agreement was not a covenant running with the land, we at Gray Reed, and you if you’re following, have speculated…
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Gray Reed! Assuming that most of you have been good this year (stay tuned for 2019’s Bad Guys in Energy to see who hasn’t), we hope Santa brought you everything on your Amazon Wish List. Our sympathies go out to those in the oilfield services industry in Texas—it looks like you got a lump of coal. In Mesa Southern CWS Acquisition v. Deep Energy Exploration Partners the Houston Court of Appeals upended the long-held view that mineral lien waivers violate public policy. Bah Humbug!…
Co-author Kelley Clark Morris
Suing a state and its public officials is difficult because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. There are exceptions. State of Texas v. Signal Drilling, et al. presents several of them.
The State and its agencies are immune from:
- Suits seeking to construe or enforce contracts to which the State is a party,
- Declaratory judgment actions,
- Ordinary trespass to try title suits.
There are exceptions. For example:
- Claims against a state official in his representative capacity for non-discretionary acts unauthorized by law (the ultra vires exception).
- Claims for an unconstitutional taking of property without adequate compensation.
- Suits to require state officials to comply with statutory or constitutional provisions.
Co-author Rusty Tucker
Let’s talk the Duhig Rule and estoppel by deed in Texas. Don’t run away yet. We’ll get to the point quickly and then you can leave.
Under the doctrine of estoppel by deed:
- “All parties to a deed are bound by the recitals therein, which operate as an estoppel, … and binding
In Texan Land & Cattle II, Ltd. v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Company a Texas court of appeals ruled that “oil or gas” is not limited to “crude petroleum,” but includes refined petroleum products gasoline and diesel.
Texas Land’s property in Harris County is burdened by an easement obtained by ExxonMobil from Humble Oil Company in 1919 that granted the right to lay, maintain, operate, and remove a pipeline for the “transportation of oil or gas” across Texas Land’s property. The easement does not define oil or gas.
The sole issue was the definition of oil and gas as used in the easement. Texas Land contended that “oil and gas” granted the right to transport only “crude oil” or “crude petroleum,” but not refined products. ExxonMobil argued that “oil and gas,” as used in the early 20th century, included refined products such as gasoline and diesel.…