Law360 Guest Article: Texas High Court Continues To Rule In Favor Of Lessees


The lessee can make reasonable use of the surface over a pooled lease. 

In an important case about the scope of a mineral lessee’s surface rights in a pooled unit, the Texas Supreme Court recently held in Key Operating & Equipment Inc. v. Hegar that a lessee has the right to use a roadway over a pooled tract, even if that tract is not producing oil or gas. The state high court reversed an injunction prohibiting the lessee’s use of the road and rejected a potentially troublesome standard for pooled operations. 

The mineral lessee, Key, pooled part of a 191-acre tract (the Curbo tract) with an adjoining tract (the Richardson tract). Key used a road across the Curbo tract to reach oil and gas operations on the Richardson tract. Undisputed expert testimony established that no oil produced from the pooled unit came from the Curbo tract.

Excerpted from Law360, July 1, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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