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Texas Supreme Court Sides with Mineral Owners

by Elizabeth Alford on February 3, 2016

The long wait is finally over for the Hyder family, the Texas landowners who has been battling Chesapeake Energy for years.

Related: Chesapeake v. Hyder – Royalty Owner Wins Big

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling to award at least $1 million in royalties, interest and attorney fees to the family. The state high court heard the case in March of 2015.

In 2010, property owners (Hyders) sued Chesapeake for improperly subtracting postproduction costs from their royalty checks for gas taken from their own property. In 2012, state District Judge Melody Wilkinson awarded the family nearly $1 million and the decision was upheld last year by the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio. Chesapeake continued to fight the decision and in June, the Texas Supreme Court sided with the Hyders. Chesapeake immediately appealed.

This high-profile case has lots of people taking sides with many submitting briefs to the court. The Texas Land and Mineral Owners Association, the National Association of Royalty Owners-Texas Inc. and the Chesapeake Barnett Shale Royalty Owners recently filed “amicus curiae”  briefs, publicly siding with the Hyders.

“This is one of a long line of cases in which Chesapeake has sought to profit at the expense of royalty owners.”  - National Association of Royalty Owners-Texas

On the flip side, pro-industry leaders were concerned that the decision in the Hyder case could create chaos in the courts for other royalties cases across the Lone Star State. More than a dozen oil companies and pro-industry organizations banded together to file briefs in favor of rehearing the case.

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January Oil and Gas Off to a Sluggish Start

by Elizabeth Alford on February 1, 2016

Rig counts across the country continued to slide downward hitting a low of 619 at the week ending January 29th.

Related: Schlumberger Cuts 10,000 More Jobs in Q4

Natural gas rigs fell by 13 to 121 and rigs targeting oil dropped another 12, to 498.. The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) Horizontal drilling continues to dominate the activity in all regions of the country:

  • 487 Horizontal Rigs
  • 74 Vertical Rigs
  • 58 Directional Rigs

This week’s decline marks the 22nd consecutive week that there has been no positive motion for this important oil and gas indicator, according to Baker Hughes. Rig counts have dropped drastically this year as oil and gas producers have sidelined rigs to cut costs while waiting for crude prices to rebound.

Texas leads the nation in running rigs, though that count has also dropped significantly this year. As of Friday there were only 281 rigs running across the Lone Star State, down from 414 one year ago. Activity in the Permian basin and Eagle Ford Shale regions are providing most of the production and account for more than 90% of the total drilling in Texas.

The situation in the oil and gas industry continued to deteriorate throughout January with crude prices fluctuated wildly and dipping below $30 at one point. There was also news of at least one bankruptcy and another 14,000 job cuts from Halliburton and Schlumberger. A huge wildcard that is sure to affect things in the coming months is what the influx of Iranian oil mean to our industry. One analyst warns that ”… unless something changes, the oil market could drown in oversupply.”

Rad more about the rig counts at BakerHughes.com

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More Support for Ohio Mineral Owners

January 28, 2016

Hundreds come out in public support of oil and gas drilling in the Wayne National Forest. Related: Tensions Escalate at BLM Meeting in Ohio The Bureau of Land Management  (BLM) is trying to determine whether it should lease 31,900 acres of the Wayne National Forest for oil and gas exploration, which has hundreds of Ohio landowners […]

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BLM: New Flaring Regulations Proposed

January 26, 2016

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is on a mission for a ‘cleaner, more secure energy future’ that may include reduced flaring. Related:  New Ruling to Slash Methane Emissions Last Friday, the BLM proposed new rules that would limit venting and flaring at gas wells on public and tribal lands in order to reduce the wasteful release of natural […]

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Landowners Combat Samson for $98.8 Million

January 25, 2016

Samson Resources are playing defense as landowners demand action. Related: Chesapeake Ordered to Pay Up A group of landowners who leased their interests in oil, gas, and minerals to Samson Resources, have requested a special statutory committee to represent the interests of all 50,000-75,000 landowners that have contractual relationships with the now bankrupt company. Robins […]

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Schlumberger Cuts 10,000 More Jobs in Q4

January 21, 2016

Schlumberger Ltd. released its fourth-quarter earnings and full 2015 results today revealing additional jobs cuts and huge losses. Related: Energy Giants Announce More Layoffs The Houston-based company had a rough fourth quarter. The company experienced a loss of $1.02 billion, a significant decrease over last year’s profits of $302 million. In addition, they reported cutting another […]

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Iranian Oil Will Add to Global Glut

January 20, 2016

Last week, the Obama Administration entered into an historic and controversial nuclear deal with Iran that includes lifting economic sanctions. What will this mean to U.S. oil and gas interests. Related: Congress Ends Oil Export Ban Since 1979, the international community has imposed economic sanctions on Iran, which has prevented the country from sending its vast amount of […]

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Fort Worth School District to Receive Royalties

January 18, 2016

This Fort Worth School District is finally to receive compensation from Chesapeake. Related: Chesapeake Ordered to Pay Up Last week, the Fort Worth School District reached an out-of-court settlement with oil and gas giant, Chesapeake Energy for an undisclosed amount. This was the latest setback for the troubled company who has been fighting an onslaught of lawsuits concerning payment […]

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Rig Counts and Crude Continue to Slide

January 15, 2016

The U.S. rotary rig count shows that things are continuing in the oil and gas industry. Related: U.S. Rig Counts at 698 for Year’s End Baker Hughes reports that there 650 oil and gas rigs were running across the United States by midday Friday, a decline of 14 over the previous week. 135 were targeting natural gas (down […]

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Negotiating a Mineral Lease: What NOT to Do!

January 12, 2016

Every day across America, mineral owners receive oil and gas lease proposals asking to lease their mineral interests. Negotiating an oil and gas lease is a big responsibility and requires knowledge, patience, and a balanced mindset. Unfortunately many mineral rights owners don’t do their homework and miss available upside during oil and gas lease negotiations. The following infographic give some for […]

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