Federal Legislative Update: Mineral Royalty Valuation Policy

August 26, 2020 — In an effort to bolster America’s position in energy independence, the U.S. Department of Interior proposed a new rule to ease its regulation on how royalties for minerals, such as oil, gas and coal from federal lands, are calculated. The proposal would amend portions of the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (“ONNR”) regulations to lift certain royalty restrictions and restore pre-2016 policies that favor historical practices on valuation. According to a statement by the U.S. Secretary of Interior David L. Bernhardt, “this proposal provides regulatory certainty and clarity to States, Tribes and stakeholders, removing unnecessary and…
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Louisiana Oil and Gas Legislative Update: HB123

July 28, 2020 — The 2020 Louisiana Legislative Regular Session enacted a change to the method of allocating mineral proceeds for trusts.  By Louisiana House Bill 123 which was enacted on June 4, 2020, and will take effect on January 1, 2021, the Louisiana Legislature revised La. R.S. §9:2152 to resemble Texas Property Code §116.174 and remove the application of the “open mines doctrine” in trusts. Prior Louisiana law allocated royalty payments to be apportioned between the principal and income of a trust at the rate of twenty-seven and one-half percent (27.5%) of the gross proceeds to principal and the remaining seventy-two…
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Wyoming Oil and Gas Legislative Update: HB14

June 17, 2020 — Wyoming’s oil and gas regulations were recently amended in an effort to attract energy development in the state. Among the new laws is House Bill 14, which changes the way operators force pool nonconsenting owners. The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has authority to issue pooling orders to pool interests located within a drilling and spacing unit (“DSU”). WYO. STAT. § 30-5-109 currently provides that when two or more separately owned tracts of land are embraced in a DSU, and in the absence of voluntary pooling, any interested party may enter an order pooling all…
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