Are you buying oil and gas leases in Ohio and expecting to be paid for your work? Consider Dundics v. Eric Petroleum, in which the Ohio Supreme Court concluded that land professionals who do not possess an Ohio real estate broker’s license are not entitled to bring suit to recover compensation for acquiring oil and gas leases. Continue Reading Landmen, Ohio Has a Surprise For You
Did Texas law or New Mexico law apply to knock-for-knock indemnity provisions in a Master Work and Services Agreement? When a contract explicitly calls for Texas law, that is likely to be the outcome, as it was in North American Tubular Services LLC v. BOPCO, LP.
- Decide before something bad happens what law you want to apply to a transaction.
- Think about it. You’ll have to live with the choice.
- Providing a safe work place is a moral imperative; financial risk goes a long way toward assuring the imperative is satisfied.
- (Better left for another post: Does that also apply to leaking methane?)
- The parties’ choice of law was was bolstered because under the contract the indemnity and insurance requirements would be liberally construed in order to effectuate their enforceability.
- It would have helped the choice of law if the contract had also said that the choice was without regard for the chosen state’s conflict of law provisions.
The pitches in your arsenal are your fastball and your curveball; it’s the late innings; third time around the batting order; they’re sitting on the fastball. Once they catch up to it (and they will unless you’re Justin Verlander which, face it, you are not), goodbye game. Why not go to the bender to keep ’em uncomfortable and give you options? In Lackey v. Templeton, plaintiffs stayed with the heater. Goodbye game.
The lesson to be learned Continue Reading Texas Court Tells Plaintiffs How to Recover Title to Property
Co-author Brittany Blakey*
Cardoso-Gonzales v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. addressed the all-important indemnity and insurance provisions in Master Service Agreements in light of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Louisiana Oilfield Indemnity Act. Continue Reading MSA Indemnity Denied Under the Louisiana Oilfield Indemnity Act
Co-author Brittany Blakey*
Louisiana practitioners and their clients tend to know this particular point of Louisiana law, but it could surprise out-of-staters (known in their native habitat as “Texans”), so it’s worth a reminder:
Under Louisiana Mineral Code art. 122 and art. 129, a lessee in a mineral lease is not relieved of its statutory duty to perform the lease as a reasonably prudent operator unless the lessor has expressly discharged the lessee in writing. The original lessee, along with all assignees and sublessees, are solidarily liable to the lessor for the whole performance of the obligations imposed by the lease. Continue Reading Original Louisiana Lessee Can’t Escape Liability
Co-author Chance Decker
You’ve secured the right leases. You’ve drilled nice wells in the right locations. Now, who will pay the royalty owners? Follow Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. v. Apache Corporation, to be sure.
- The duty to pay lessor royalties was owed by their lessee, not the operator of the wells.
- There’s something missing from the opinion. Tune in soon for an in-depth discussion of the question that is not addressed. Continue Reading Who is a “Payor” Under the Texas Natural Resources Code?
Co-author Chance Decker
Recall the Battle of the Bastards: The heroic Lady Sansa and the duplicitous Lord Baelish gallop over the hill to save the foolish Jon Snow from the heinous Ramsey Bolton. In similar fashion, but without the malnourished canines, the Texas Supreme Court in Conoco Phillips Company v. Koopmann saved the Koopmanns and you, the document drafters and title examiners, from brutal application of the Rule Against Perpetuities. Continue Reading NPRI Reservation Survives Rule Against Perpetuities
Let’s take a look at what President Trump has done for the oil industry in his first year (This is not about decorum, dossiers, tweets, or Oprah’s inauguration.) As in the past, I refer to sources whose opinions and insights are more knowledgeable than mine.
No More “Sue and Settle” Continue Reading Trump and the Oil Patch One Year In
Once again we look back at the continuing cavalcade of crooks, criminals, miscreants and, to put it kindly,
morons the less intellectually gifted, who met justice face-to-face in 2017. This year’s class includes a preacher, a controller, an engineer, a landman, and two lawyers! Continue Reading 2017’s Bad Guys in Energy
Noble Energy Inc. v. ConocoPhillips Company, a 6-to-3 Texas Supreme Court decision, is a reminder of two things:
- How parties to a property transaction describe what’s being acquired and what’s being left behind can have grave consequences. The purchaser can acquire specific obligations associated with purchased assets, excluding all others not mentioned. Or, he can acquire all obligations, disclaiming none, including those not even mentioned and those he doesn’t even know about. Here, the difference cost Noble $63 million.
- When given a choice, the Texas Supreme Court is likely to resolve a dispute by relying on the words in a contract rather than notions of equity.