Maintaining an Oil and Gas Lease Beyond the Primary Term

In Hardin-Simmons Univ. v. Hunt Cimarron L.P., No. 07-15-00303-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6934 (Tex. App.-Amarillo July 25, 2017), the court evaluated the terms of an oil and gas lease to determine to what extent the oil and gas lease remained in effect, if at all, due to a lack of production in paying quantities. In the late 1950s several producing wells were drilled on the leased premises, but production declined. In 1967, the leased premises was included in the Buckshot Unit, a 13,000 acre waterflood unit. In the 1990s, the leased premises fell out of the Buckshot Unit and the owners of entered a new lease that was subsequently assigned to United Oil and Gas (the "United Lease"). At the conclusion of the primary term of the oil and gas lease to United, the lease was released as to all of the leased premises, except for 700 acres, which lease…
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Can Consent of an Assignment be Withheld Arbitrarily?

In Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. v. Barrow-Shaver Res. Co., No. 12-15-00083-CV, 2017 App. LEXIS 821 (Tex. Civ. App. -Tyler January 31, 2017) the Court of Appeals concluded that if a consent-to-assignment provision fails to include a reasonableness clause, the consenting party has an unqualified right to withhold consent. Texas law does not require reasonableness or good cause to withhold consent. The dispute in Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. arose from the interpretation of a consent-to-assignment provision in a farmout agreement between Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. ("COG") and Barrow-Shaver Resources Company ("BSR"). After initial discussions and negotiations over a farmout agreement on a lease owned by COG, BSR sent a draft of their agreement to COG, which did not contain a consent-to-assignment provision. COG countered with an agreement that contained the following consent-to-assignment provision:"The rights provided to BSR under this Letter Agreement may not be assigned, subleased or otherwise…
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Interpretation of Mineral Deed to Grant Mineral Interest Despite “Lease-like” Language

In Richardson v. Mills, No. 12-15-00170-CV, 2016 App. LEXIS 7316 (Tex. Civ. App. - Tyler, July 12, 2016) the Court of Appeals concluded that an instrument that used the word "forever" in the habendum and warranty clauses was not a mineral lease, but was an unambiguous mineral deed. Although the instrument included consideration for future services, it lacked any implied covenant for development. The dispute in Richardson arose from the interpretation of a 1906 instrument, which pertained to the minerals under property in Nacogdoches County. Appellees, Donald Roger Miller, Rhonda Mills, and Beverly Mills Pool (collectively, the "Mills"), owned an undivided one-half interest in the oil, gas, and other mineral described in the 1906 instrument. After receiving royalty payments for many years, the payments stopped in October 2010 and Mills filed suit against Appellants, Robert Lindsey and June C. Harris (collectively "Lindsey") to resume the royalty payments. The trial court concluded…
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