This seems to be the season for oil patch courts to return property to its rightful owners. Last week it was a regulatory taking by the City of Dallas. This week it is Northwest Landowners Association v. State of North Dakota, in which the North Dakota Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional on its face a
North Dakota Supreme Court to Hear Case on Pore Space Rights
Co-author Brittany Blakey
[Updated] The North Dakota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Thursday to consider who owns the right to profit from the value of the porous spaces within subsurface rock formations. The issue is over Senate Bill 2344, passed by the Legislature in 2019 and, no…
Who Won and Who Didn’t: The 2021 Texas Legislature and Energy
Most bills filed in each legislative session fail. For the most part we are thankful for that. But today we summarize a few that survived while you weren’t paying attention. As usual, there are winners, losers, and rainouts.
HB 2730 beefs up the “Landowners’ Bill of Rights” in eminent domain negotiations and proceedings. It amends…
Texas Legislature to Consider Oil and Gas Lien Law Amendment
Co-author Brittany Blakey
Texas lien law in some cases does not require the filing of a financing statement for priority perfection. However, as you might have learned in In re First River Energy, the Delaware Uniform Commercial Code did not recognize the priority of Texas producers’ unfiled, unperfected security interests in proceeds under Texas Business and Commerce Code Section 9.343. In contrast, Oklahoma Producers prevailed because the Oklahoma Lien Act in 2010 cured a defect still present in the Texas statute. Texas producers with a lien are subject to UCC choice-of-law, priority, and perfection of security interests rules.
Rep. Charlie Green introduced House Bill No. 3794 which, if passed, would replace Section 9.343 with the “Texas First Purchaser Lien Act.”…
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The CARES Act, Taxes, and Toilet Paper in the Time of COVID-19
Co-authors: Gray Reed lawyers too talented and numerous to mention
I start with a promise: To leave you-know-what behind as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are summaries of your federal government’s effort to alleviate the distress caused by the situation. Click on each title for more detail and to learn about the appropriate…
Help for the Oil Patch Workforce in These Uncertain Times
If you have employees, or you are an employee, you should know that Congress has passed and the President has signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address the impact COVID-19 is having on the American workforce. Here is a summary from Gray Reed’s team of employment lawyers, headed by Ruth Ann Daniels…
Produced Water in Texas … Who Owns It?
Co-author Stephen Cooney
Recent legislation in Texas to promote the recycling of water produced from oil and gas operations are steps in the right direction but may create as many problems as they fix. As technology improves, our population continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, and our water supplies remain limited, recycling of water…
Fake Mineral Leases Thwarted by the Texas Legislature
The 2019 Texas legislature enacted a new Property Code Section 5.152 to protect mineral and royalty owners from a certain species of fraudulent transactions perpetrated on trusting and/or naïve and/or out of state mineral owners. Ethan Wood and I wrote about the scam when it made its way into the courthouse.
How the scam worked
The grifter, fronting for a company with a name similar to a reputable operator, would approach the owner with an oil and gas “lease” of minerals or royalty that were already subject to an existing lease. Except that the lease was actually the sale of the mineral or royalty interest at a bargain price. The scammers would then invoke arbitration provisions they had written into the conveyance, and relying on the confidential nature of the arbitration process, would stifle publicity of the inevitable dispute.…
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Water: The Hot Commodity in the Permian and Elsewhere
It’s still true, “Whiskey’s for drinkin’, water’s for fightin’.” Gray Reed lawyers Brock Niezgoda and Stephen Cooney spoke to TIPRO’s summer conference on the use, control and ownership of water in oil and gas operations. Here is their PowerPoint.
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The TCPA Revisions Are Good for (Not Only) the Oil Business
Co-author Niloufar Hafizi
As mentioned last week, the 86th Legislature amended the Texas Citizens Participation Act, Texas’ Anti-SLAPP law and defendants’ go-to weapon of destruction in a diverse range of cases.
The TCPA was intended to prevent harassing lawsuits by plaintiffs seeking to quell constitutionally protected activity, in particular the exercise of free speech, the right to association, and the right to petition.but has been much-criticized for being overly broad and subject to abuse and misuse. The old TCPA was frequently applied in oil and gas litigation, which is why we are benefiting you with our observations.…
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