In Texas, the stakes are high in energy litigation; Texas is proud to be the number one producer of crude oil, natural gas resources, and renewable energy in the nation, but with this comes the responsibility to ensure best business practices are in place for all parties involved. Oil and gas litigation touches upon various federal and state laws regulating the distribution, extraction, and ownership of natural resources. Energy and oil and gas law encompass a wide variety of matters, including:
- Mineral rights
- Royalty disputes
- Property disputes
- Payout disputes
- Override disputes
- Lease agreements
- Title issues
- Ownership disputes
The Texas landscape is rich and unique, with numerous natural resources that can be utilized across multiple industries, making our land extremely valuable. Due to this, Texas law regarding ownership rights of oil and gas resources is divided into two separate legal interests. These two separate sets of rights are mineral estates and surface estates.
Under Texas law, a mineral estate refers to the rights to mineral deposits that exist under the surface of the property in question. Mineral deposits can include:
- Crude oil
- Natural gas
Mineral rights differ from surface rights in that interest holders generally have a broader use of the parcel of land. Typically, Texas grants rights dominance to the owner or lessee of mineral rights rather than to the surface rights holder, so the owner of the mineral rights can use the land in a multitude of ways, such as for the extraction and refinement of minerals.
Surface estate refers to the tract of land above the surface and does not include any of minerals found on the land. This means that while a landowner may have profitable natural resources underneath the surface of their tract of land, they do not necessary have the right to control or participate in the usage of the minerals.
Success in the energy and oil and gas industries demands more than just savvy business knowledge, and the team at Seiler Mitby recognizes the deep, and at times complicated, relationship the industry has with our clients and their communities. Our team of experienced lawyers is committed to ensuring efficient legal strategies that avoid costly and lengthy disputes for clients, which often result in major disruptions in business operations.
The attorneys at Seiler Mitby engage in a variety of litigation matters for clients across the energy and oil and gas industries, including midstream, downstream, and upstream markets. In addition, our attorneys are also well versed in matters of exploration, refinement, production, environmental, and permitting issues. Because we combine our experience from a wide range of backgrounds, our attorneys can provide effective counsel to clients resulting in favorable outcomes. Furthermore, the attorneys at Seiler Mitby pride themselves on being ahead of the curve by following trends and market research data that directly impacts our energy clients.