Environmental and Energy Law Blog

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What is a Choice of Law Provision in a Texas Oil or Gas Contract?

Texas courts will generally enforce oil and gas contracts as they are written unless a violation of statutory law or public policy is present. This enforceability principle applies to choice of law provisions that are common in oil and gas contracts. Below is an overview of choice of law provisions in Texas oil and gas contracts.


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Monday, January 28, 2019

What is a Farmout Agreement?


Farmout agreements are common in the oil and gas industry.  A farmout agreement is a contract in which an interest owner (“farmor”) agrees to assign interest to another party (“farmee”) in exchange for certain services. Once these services have been rendered, the farmee has earned what is known as an assignment. The assignment, which is a royalty interest, is also called a convertible override, which means that the farmor can elect to convert this override into a portion of the working interest following payout. The decision of whether to convert or not is dependent upon whether the farmer wants to share production costs in exchange for a possible increased return.
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Friday, January 25, 2019

Recent Oil Contract Case Provides Important Lessons


A case that was recently filed in the Texas Supreme Court involves an issue familiar to those in the oil industry: farmout agreement interpretation. The case, Barrow-Shaver Res. Co v. Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc., involves a question of whether one party to an agreement may arbitrarily withhold consent from the other to take certain actions or whether consent may only be withheld if reasonable.
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Thursday, December 27, 2018

About Joint Operating Agreements

A commonly used instrument in the oil and gas industry is the joint operating agreement. A joint operating agreement is a contract for the exploration, development, and production of gas and oil properties among cotenants. Below is an overview of joint operating agreements in Texas.


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Monday, December 10, 2018

The Unintended Consequences of the Shale Oil Boom

The shale revolution in the Permian Basin has helped trigger an energy production boom in the U.S. This development has far reaching, positive implications -- from mitigating the nation’s dependence on foreign oil to reducing the trade deficit to fostering economic growth. There is a downside, however, as the region has been saturated with oil production, which has driven up production costs and depressed the price of oil in the region.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How to Choose an Environmental Lawyer in Texas

Environmental law issues can be complicated, as they frequently encompass a combination of scientific, legal, and business concerns. Therefore, it’s imperative that anyone in need of environmental legal assistance contact an experienced Texas environmental lawyer as soon as possible. In addition to resolving any immediate concerns through litigation or other means, experienced environmental attorneys can minimize potential liability through:


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Saturday, November 10, 2018

What is the Railroad Commission of Texas?

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is the Texas state agency that regulates the following areas:

  • The gas and oil industry
  • Safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry
  • Gas utilities
  • Pipeline safety
  • Surface coal and uranium mining.

Despite its name, however, the RRC ceased regulating railroads in 2005. Established in 1891, the RRC is the oldest regulatory agency in the state of Texas, and it focuses entirely on gas, oil, propane, mining, and pipelines.


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Friday, October 26, 2018

The ABCs of Seismic Surveys: Part Two

Seismic surveys are used to produce images of rock types and their locations beneath the ground. These surveys are utilized by oil and gas companies to determine the location and size of gas and oil reservoirs. The process, which involves bouncing and recording sound waves off of underground rock formations, provides surveyors with valuable information about rock types and the availability of fluids and gases underground.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The ABCs of Seismic Surveys: Part One

Seismic surveys are used to produce images of rock types and their locations beneath the ground. These surveys are utilized by oil and gas companies to determine the location and size of gas and oil reservoirs. The process, which involves bouncing and recording sound waves off of underground rock formations, provides surveyors with valuable information about rock types and the availability of fluids and gases underground. In this two-part series, we examine seismic surveys in detail.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How to Choose an Energy, Oil, and Gas Attorney in Texas

If you live in Texas and are considering signing any type of energy, oil, or gas agreement, then you should hire an experienced Texas attorney for legal guidance. However, with so many attorneys to choose from, it can be difficult to determine who to choose. Below are some guidelines on choosing an energy, oil, and gas attorney in Texas.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What You Need to Know about Environmental Audits

Environmental audits allow companies to identify, assess, and fix problems before it’s too late. In addition, in many cases, federal and state laws can be used to shield companies from penalties assessed for violations discovered during voluntary audits. However, there are a few things that you should consider before undertaking an environmental audit in Texas, including:


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