Tom Ciarone 2018 September-October Thomas G. Ciarlone, Jr. 

The Neverending Story: “Fixed” vs. “Floating” Royalties in Texas

The Texas Supreme Court and our Courts of Appeals have now been struggling for years with the elusive distinction between “fixed” and “floating” royalties. In application, the difference between the two can have drastic and, depending on your position in a mineral title dispute, potentially catastrophic consequences. The case law has, by no means, been a model of clarity or… Read More
Tom Ciarone 2018 July-August Contributors Thomas G. Ciarlone, Jr. 

Oil and Gas Law: 2Q18 Update

The second quarter of the year has seen abundant activity at the intersection of the energy industry and the law. These are some of the highlights: Offset Wells and Liquidated Damages as Unenforceable Penalties. Oil-and-gas leases—at least those drafted by savvy mineral owners—will often include an offset drilling clause. Such clauses stipulate that, if a well is drilled on a… Read More
2018 May-June Contributors Thomas G. Ciarlone, Jr. 

Pennsylvania Departs from Texas on Trespass by Hydraulic Fracturing

In Texas, the long-standing “rule of capture” controls claims for subsurface trespass predicated on hydraulic fracturing activities. The rule of capture is, of course, shorthand for the theory that landowners acquire title to the minerals they produce from wells on their land, even when some of the oil or gas migrates from adjoining tracts. Put another way, landowners may properly… Read More
Tom Ciarone 2017 November-December Contributors Thomas G. Ciarlone, Jr. 

The Growing Tension Between Executives and Non-Executives in the Oil Patch

The Court of Appeals in San Antonio recently decided one of the first cases in quite some time to address the duties—of the party with the executive rights to minerals—owed to non-executive mineral interest owners. The case is Texas Outfitters Limited v. Nicholson, No. 04-16-00392-CV. Most of us in the industry know that in Texas and other jurisdictions the mineral… Read More
Oil-and-Gas Law: Notable Recent Developments 2017 September-October Contributors Thomas G. Ciarlone, Jr. 

Oil-and-Gas Law: Notable Recent Developments

In a significant development out of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue has elected to eliminate the prior administration’s new guidance for calculating royalties on leases of oil and gas interests on federal and Native American lands. As detailed in a late-summer notice from the Federal Register, Interior is completely repealing what had been… Read More
Tom Ciarone 2017 July-August Contributors Thomas G. Ciarlone, Jr. 

Texas Supreme Court Issues Back-To-Back Decisions with Profound Implications for the Oil-And-Gas Business

In a case that has been closely watched in the oil and gas industry, Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Onshore, LLC, the Texas Supreme Court decided in May whether drilling through a mineral estate—one which is not under lease by the driller—to access a reservoir beneath a bordering tract constitutes a form of trespass. The operator in the case,… Read More