Tag Archives: Texas

85th Texas Legislature: Oil and Gas Roundup

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 … Continue Reading

Times Definitely Are a-Changin’

On Dec. 10, Bob Dylan, in absentia, received the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The title track of Dylan’s 1964 album The Times They Are a-Changin’ is one of the most celebrated protest songs. Undoubtedly, times are a-changin’ in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump recently announced his selection of Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon … Continue Reading

Wind Energy in Texas: Powerful or Not?

On Oct. 26, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released a report challenging the view that Texas is a leader in wind power production. According to the report, Texas lagged far behind Midwest and Plains states in 2015 in utilizing wind energy as a percentage of total net electricity generation. Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas led … Continue Reading

Texas Senate Holds Public Hearing on EPA Regulations

On Sept. 28, 2016, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development held a public hearing on one of the committee’s interim charges for the 84th Legislative Session. The topic for discussion at the hearing centered on the impact and challenges Texas faces in implementing proposed federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including, but not … Continue Reading

Struggling to Produce: Heirs to Claimed Royalty Interest Acquired in Late 1800s in 9,200-acre Tract in Texas Fail to Pass Procedural Hurdles to Asserting Their Claims for Superior Title and Unpaid Royalties Against Multiple Oil and Gas Companies

On Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, dozens of claimed heirs to a one-half mineral interest allegedly obtained in the late 1800s in a 9,200-acre tract of land in Brooks County, Texas, filed a Petition for Review with the Texas Supreme Court, claiming that the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio erred in upholding the Brooks … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Case on “Capability of Production” Under Shut-In Clause

On Sept. 2, the Texas Supreme Court granted review in a case that may clarify when a shut-in well’s capacity for production in paying quantities is determined.  In BP America Production Company v. Red Deer Resources, LLC, No. 15-0569, the court will be reviewing a ruling from the 7th Court of Appeals (Amarillo) that upheld … Continue Reading

Lower Oil and Gas Prices Met With an Uptick in Unpaid Overtime, Worker Misclassification, and Other Wage Suits

On Monday, the United States Energy Information Administration released a Drilling Productivity Report. The report projects that total oil output from seven major U.S. shale regions will fall by 118,000 barrels per day to about 4.95 million barrels per day in December. This is the largest monthly decline on record. The Bakken and Eagle Ford … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court to Decide Whether Groundwater Estate Should Be Granted Accommodation Status Similar to Mineral Estate

On October 14, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court heard argument in a case styled Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC v. The City of Lubbock, which dealt with the question of whether the accommodation doctrine should apply when a groundwater estate has been severed from the surface estate. Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC owns a ranch in West … Continue Reading

Texas Wastewater Injection Wells Off the Hook for Causing Earthquakes

On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission absolved a second oil and gas company of causing a series of earthquakes in northern Texas finding that the seismic activity was due to “natural tectonic processes.” The Commission issued two preliminary reports in the past two weeks addressing whether two oil and gas companies—XTO Energy and EnerVest— … Continue Reading

Toilet to Frac: Legal and Practical Aspects of Using Municipal Effluent for Fracing in Texas

Thus far, the idea of using purified municipal sewage effluent—“reclaimed water” in industry parlance—for city water supplies has proven a tough sell. Human psychology poses significant barriers to overcoming the “toilet to tap” aversion. But “toilet to frac” is an entirely different matter. In dry locations with large municipalities (100,000 persons or more) located within … Continue Reading

Texas Town Repeals Voter-Approved Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

Just seven months after voters in Denton, Texas, approved a measure banning hydraulic fracturing within city limits, the Denton City Council voted 6 to 1 to repeal the ban. Council members called the move a “strategic repeal” after plaintiffs in two pending lawsuits seeking to invalidate the ban amended their complaints to invoke a recently … Continue Reading

Oklahoma Follows Texas’ Lead in Prohibiting Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

In the wake of Texas’ recent “ban on banning hydraulic fracturing,” Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a similar law—SB 809—prohibiting municipal governments from regulating oil and gas drilling at the local level. The bill now heads to Governor Mary Fallin, who is expected to sign it into law. Oklahoma enacted SB 809 prohibiting local drilling regulations—one … Continue Reading

Southern Methodist University Study Suggests Activities Related to Hydraulic Fracturing Responsible for Uptick in Texas Earthquakes

In an article published late last month in the journal Nature Communications, researchers at Southern Methodist University pointed to hydraulic fracturing activities as the probable cause of an increase in earthquakes near Azle, Texas, based on a study they had conducted in the area. The researchers’ conclusion conflicts with the stance of the U.S. Geological … Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Takes Further Aim at Local/Municipal Fracking Bans

On Tuesday, March 11, 2015, the Texas Legislature’s 84th Session gained another bill directed at combating future local and municipal fracking bans. State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Chairman of the Texas House Energy Resources Committee, filed House Bill 40 (HB40), which seeks to amend Chapter 81 of the Texas Natural Resources Code and expressly … Continue Reading

Local and National Environmental Groups Seek to Intervene in Denton Fracking Case

On Thursday, December 4, 2014, in Texas Oil and Gas Assoc. v. City of Denton, Cause No. 14-08933-431, 431st District Court, Denton County, Texas, the Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks filed a Joint Petition in Intervention seeking to “provide a vigorous defense of the legality and enforceability” of the December 2, 2014, ordinance (the … Continue Reading

Denton Ban Emboldens Fracking Opponents in Other Texas Cities

After the first municipal ban on hydraulic fracturing in Texas went into effect on December 2in Denton, residents of other Texas cities are considering whether to pursue bans in their own backyards. Residents from disparate parts of the Lone Star state, including Reno (100 miles northeast of Dallas in Lamar County), Alpine (170 miles southwest … Continue Reading

Railroad Commission Chairwoman: “It’s My Job to Give Permits, Not Denton’s”

At a November 6 event, Texas Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick unequivocally stated that the Commission would continue to issue drilling permits to operators in Denton, despite the November 4 vote making it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing. “It’s my job to give permits, not Denton’s. We’re going to continue permitting … Continue Reading

Study Linking Earthquakes to Fracing May Shake the Ballots

On October 15, seismologist Paul A. Friberg published an article in the journal Seismological Research Letters that links earthquakes to hydraulic fracturing. The report was published less than a month before today’s vote, in which several communities will make decisions affecting the burgeoning domestic energy business. The article links hydraulic fracturing, not only to the … Continue Reading

Texas Railroad Commission Adopts Rules for Disposal Wells in Potential High-Risk Seismic Areas

On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, the Texas Railroad Commission unanimously adopted amendments to rules concerning disposal wells in areas that have experienced or are likely to experience seismic activity. As covered by the North America Shale Blog in August, the amendments were proposed in response to questions from residents in towns sitting atop the Barnett … Continue Reading

Suit by Denton, Texas, Royalty Interest Owners Could be Harbinger of More Suits If Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Passes

Ahead of the November 4th vote that could make it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, the City of Denton has been sued by a group of royalty interest owners claiming that the city’s current temporary ban violates their property rights. As previously covered by the North America Shale Blog, on May … Continue Reading
LexBlog