On Jan. 10, 2017, the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature convened in Austin, and already several bills are on the table that, if adopted, could impact the oil and gas industry in Texas.
State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, has introduced the Oil and Gas Majority Rights Protection Act for Secondary and Tertiary Recovery Operations (SB 177). If enacted, the bill would make it easier for Texas oil and gas companies to conduct secondary recovery operations with the consent of a supermajority (70 percent) of working and royalty interest owners in a field. Texas law currently requires the unanimous approval and agreement of all working and royalty interest owners in order for secondary recovery operations to commence in a field.
Senator Taylor argues that the bill will be a boon to energy production in the state, claiming that geologists estimate that an additional “10 to 20 billion barrels of oil worth over $1 trillion will come out of the ground” if the bill is passed. Critics argue that the bill will give oil and gas companies power to compel dissenting, and generally smaller, interest owners to allow secondary recovery operations on their private property. Continue Reading