TEXAS OIL AND GAS LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS
first Edition

TEXAS OIL AND GAS LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS

by Jacqueline L. Weaver and Bret Wells

Texas Oil and Gas Law: Cases and Materials is an up-to-date and comprehensive survey of the state of the law in the nation’s largest oil and gas producing state. The book contains all the landmark cases that have shaped the substantive law in Texas, edited to highlight their holdings and their implications for future cases and for the practice of oil and gas law.

The cases are followed by Problem Sets and Notes that allow students to test their knowledge of the substantive case law. Texas Oil and Gas Law presents a rich mixture of property law, contract law, and tort law along with the key statutes and Railroad Commission rules imposed to prevent waste and protect correlative rights. The casebook includes graphics that illustrate issues arising under horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. A Form Oil and Gas Lease is appended that relates to many of the issues in the case law under study.

JACQUELINE L. WEAVER is Professor Emerita at the University of Houston Law Center, where she held the A.A. White Professor of Law chair until her retirement in 2017.  Her teaching and research interests cover oil and gas law, energy law and policy, international petroleum, and environmental and natural resources law.  She is the co-author of Smith & Weaver, Texas Law of Oil and Gas, a three-volume treatise; Energy, Economics and the Environment (a casebook on U.S. energy, including FERC regulation of pipelines); and several books on international petroleum transactions. She has written articles on offshore safety after the Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, energy markets, sustainable development in the international petroleum industry, comparative unitization laws, energy policy, and traditional oil and gas law topics.  Professor Weaver holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and a J.D. degree from the University of Houston.

BRET WELLS is the Law Foundation Professor of Law with the University of Houston Law Center and teaches in the area of Oil and Gas Law and also teaches in the federal tax area.  Professor Wells has written on oil and gas issues with a particular focus on the legal challenges raised by today’s development in unconventional shale formations.  Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, Mr. Wells was an executive officer in one largest oilfield service companies in the world with operations in over 60 countries.  Professor Wells holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law (cum laude, 1989).  Mr. Wells also holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Southwestern University (summa cum laude, 1987).  He is licensed to practice law and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas.         

© Copyright held by Jacqueline L. Weaver and Bret Wells.  No part of this casebook can be reproduced in any manner without the permission of the authors. To request permission, write to jweaver@uh.edu or Bret Wells at bwells@.central.uh.edu. All rights reserved 2019.

Introduction.
Introduction.1 - Preface
Introduction.2 - I. Bibliography
Introduction.3 - II. Oil and Gas Lease Basics
Introduction.4 - III. Petroleum Geology
Chapter One. RULE OF CAPTURE: ITS EFFECTS AND LIMITS
1.1 - Rule of Capture
1.2 - The Engineering Background of Conservation Regulation
1.3 - Limits on the Rule of Capture
1.3.1 - Stored Gas
1.3.2 - Negligence: Tort Law
1.3.3 - Waste
1.3.4 - Illegal Production that Violates Commission Rules
1.3.5 - Production from Horizontal Drilling
Chapter Two. STATE REGULATION OF PRODUCTION
2.1 - In General
2.2 - Proration: Regulating Production
2.3 - Drilling Permits
2.4 - Pooling
2.5 - Unitization
2.6 - The Legacy
Chapter Three. SURFACE V. MINERAL ESTATES
3.1 - Dominant Mineral Estate and Accommodation Doctrine
3.2 - Who Owns Hard Minerals?
Chapter Four. PROPERTY CONCEPTS IN MINERAL ESTATE OWNERSHIP
4.1 - Protection Against Trespassers and Wrongful Claimants
4.1.1 - Seismic Trespass
4.1.2 - Slantwell Trespass; Trespass by Fracturing?
4.1.3 - Trespass Damages
4.1.4 - Slander of Title
4.1.5 - Horizontal Drilling and Impact on the Mineral Estate
4.2 - Cotenants
4.2.1 - Leasing and Production by Cotenants
4.2.2 - Partition
4.3 - Prescription and Adverse Possession
4.4 - Life Tenants and Remaindermen
4.5 - Effect of Prior Surface Leases and Mortgages
4.5.1 - Prior Surface Leases
4.5.2 - Prior Mortgage
4.6 - How to Get Rid of Dormant Mineral Interests
Chapter Five. THE OIL AND GAS LEASE AS A FEE SIMPLE DETERMINABLE
5.1 - Introduction
5.2 - The Habendum Clause: Production in Paying Quantities
5.2.1 - The Meaning of Production
5.2.2 - The Temporary Cessation of Production Doctrine
5.2.3 - Substitutes for Production—The Shut-In Royalty Clause
5.2.4 - Other Clauses Modifying the Habendum Clause
5.3 - Delay Rentals
5.3.1 - Paying on Time
5.3.2 - What is "Commencement" of a Well?
5.4 - Pooling – A Powerful Defensive Clause
5.4.1 - The Effect of Pooling
5.4.2 - Is Pooling Effective Under the Terms of the Lease?
5.4.3 - Was Pooling Done in Good Faith?
5.4.4 - Cross-Conveyancing and Joinder
5.4.5 - Lease Terminates; Pooling Effect Remains
Chapter Six. IMPLIED COVENANTS
6.1 - General Implied Covenants
6.2 - Lessee’s Duty to Drill—The Implied Covenant to Develop
6.3 - The Implied Covenant to Protect Against Drainage
6.4 - Other Implied Covenants: to Administer and Manage the Leasehold
Chapter Seven. ROYALTY CLAUSES AND DIVISION ORDERS
7.1 - Introduction
7.2 - Market Value versus Proceeds
7.3 - Post-Production Costs and “at the well” Language
7.4 - The Implied Covenant to Market
7.5 - Division Orders: Common Law and Statutes
7.6 - Take-or-Pay and Royalty Owners
Chapter Eight. OBLIGATIONS OF EXECUTIVE RIGHT OWNERS TO NONPARTICIPATING OWNERS
8.1 - Introduction
8.2 - NPRIs and NPMIs: Sharing Lease Benefits
8.3 - Term Royalty Interests
8.4 - Duty of Utmost Good Faith and Fair Dealing
8.5 - NPRIs and Pooling
Chapter Nine. CONVEYANCING ISSUES
9.1 - Description of the Land Conveyed: the Mother Hubbard Clause
9.2 - Was a Mineral Interest or Royalty Interest Conveyed?
9.3 - The Land “Described” versus the Land “Conveyed”
9.4 - Overconveying Mineral Interest Fractions in Deeds: the Duhig Doctrine
9.5 - The Nonapportionment Rule in a Post-lease Conveyance
9.6 - The Community Lease
9.7 - The Two-Grant Theory and the Form Mineral Deed
9.8 - Variant of the Two Grant Theory: Fixed Versus Floating Royalty in the “Double Fraction” Paradigm
9.9 - The Rule Against Perpetuities
9.10 - Relinquishment Act Lands
Chapter Ten. APPENDIX