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Texas Rancher Wins Back Royalty Payments

by Elizabeth Alford on September 2, 2015

A Texas rancher wins a $4.2 million judgment for natural gas royalties case.

Related: Chesapeake Before Texas Supreme Court

The 49th State District Court agreed that Anadarko failed to pay the appropriate royalties on natural gas leases to Betsy Mecom, a rancher from Zapata County. The court also awarded an additional $1.4 million in interest, $480,000 in attorney’s fees and more than $5,900 in court costs.

The monies were for more than 100 wells located on land they owned along the Rio Grande River and in South Texas. Anadarko will now have to pay the $2.3 million in damages and attorney’s fees.

Disputes between mineral owners and producers are commonplace and legal battles like this one can drag on for years. To prevent any more delays, the judge ordered that the judgement would accrue 5 percent interest for each year that it is unpaid.

Texas has a provision that allows mineral owners to request an audit if they have a dispute with an operators, which might involve royalty payment discrepancies, lease issues, drilling provisions or surface obligations. During an audit, production information, check stubs and other Owners have a four year time limit (from the time of infraction) to request an audit.

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Crude Prices & the Stock Market: A Wild Ride

by Elizabeth Alford on August 31, 2015

As August draws to a close, some investors are wondering what hit them. The up-and-down motion of crude oil prices and the recent trend in the stock market are enough to make even seasoned investors squeamish. So what exactly is going on?

Related: Oil Plunges to Six Year Low

After surviving one of the wildest weeks on record, the stock market ends its worst month since 2012. Analysts blame conditions on a slowdown in China’s economy and concerns that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Some speculate things won’t improve soon.

Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman Private Bank to the New York Times  “I think the investor complacency we had earlier in the summer has made this market primed to overact to basically anything out there.” 

U.S. crude oil prices also had a crazy ride this month, hitting its lowest price of the 21st century last monday before shooting back up almost $10 a barrel within three days. The commodity ends the month at close to $50.

The tie between crude prices and stock market fluctuation is tenuous, but the recent turmoil in financial markets has had a particularly big impact of the price of oil. The slowdown in China and the panic of other emerging markets contribute to the volatility. This latest surge is an example of what can happen when investors are lured by the swings in oil market and start making bets on pricing.

Anthony Starkey, energy analysis manager for Bentek Energy commented that “It’s really being driven by the speculators. That’s why we’re seeing such wild swings.”

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Montana Delays Decision on Drilling Buffers

August 27, 2015

In Montana, officials delayed their decision on establishing buffer zones for oil and gas industry. Related: Montana Considers Drilling Buffer Montana joins other local and state agencies faced with figuring out how to regulate drilling activities in light of health and environmental concerns. The Northern Plains Resource Council is asking for a quarter-mile setback between […]

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New Legislation Will Protect Private Mineral Rights Holders

August 24, 2015

Congressman Glenn Thompson held a press conference Friday to introduce new legislation that will protect the rights of private mineral rights holders in national forests. The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act will seek to regulate the relationship between the U.S. Forest Service and private subsurface mineral-rights owners. Federal courts has already acknowledged that that […]

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Idaho Mineral Owners Want Answers Before Signing on the Dotted Line

August 20, 2015

Residents of rural Idaho are pushing back against petroleum company Alta Mesa’s plan to drill for natural gas in their neighborhood. Several dozens mineral owners in Fruitland must decide soon whether they will agree to lease their land for drilling or whether they will stand in the way of others doing the same. Alta Mesa […]

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New Ruling to Slash Methane Emissions

August 19, 2015

New federal regulations designed to cut methane emissions in the oil and gas industry may soon be the law of the land if the Obama administration has its way. Related: Federal Fracking Rule on Hold President Obama revealed a plan this week that would cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 32 percent from 2005 levels […]

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U.S. Commerce Department Eases Oil Export Ban

August 17, 2015

The battle over the U.S. oil exports gained traction this week as the Commerce Department moved to give permission for limited shipments. Related: Senate Committee Votes to Lift Oil Export Ban The U.S. Commerce Department told Congress it will approve an application by Pemex, the national oil company of Mexico, to exchange their heavy crude […]

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Oil Plunges to Six Year Low

August 13, 2015

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil plunged today nearly 3% to collapse below $42 a barrel for the first time in over six years. Related: EIA: U.S. Oil Production Has Peaked On Tuesday China made the move to devalue its currency, sending shockwaves around the globe and contributing to U.S. crude oil falling […]

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Chesapeake Continues Fight with Mineral Owners

August 12, 2015

In June, the Texas Supreme Court sided with mineral owners when it ruled that Chesapeake Energy had improperly deducted postproduction costs from the mineral estate owners’ natural gas royalties. Related: Chesapeake Before Texas Supreme Court The victory was short-lived, however, and Chesapeake attorneys filed an appeal this week asking the court to withdraw its opinion […]

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Investors Lose Millions in Oil Well Scheme

August 10, 2015

Investors beware! If you are looking to buy property for the purpose of cashing in on the mineral rights, it is crucial that you do the proper research. Related: Oil and Gas Investment Basics Four men were recently found guilty by a Kentucky court of swindling millions of dollars in an oil investment scheme. From […]

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