On Friday, March 31, 2023, Representative Larry Bagley of Louisiana’s District 7 proposed amendments to Louisiana Revised Statutes § 30:10. The bill, HB 590, extends a prior substantive change in the law that was affected by the 2012 amendments to La. R.S. 30:10. In the 2012 amendment, operators of force-pooled drilling units were required
In a unique twist on a common challenge to the deductibility of post-production expenses, plaintiffs in Grayson L.L.C. (Of Louisiana), et al. v. BPX Operating Co., et al. sued the unit operator for breach of contract to recover transportation costs incurred as a result of alleged regulatory violations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”)…
For nearly three years, unit operators in Louisiana have waited to see whether the Western District of Louisiana would change course or double down on its March 2019 decision in Johnson v. Chesapeake. In the original Johnson decision, the district court sent shockwaves across the oil and gas industry in Louisiana by finding that post-production costs were not properly deductible against proceeds owed to unleased mineral owners. In the wake of that decision, at least two putative class actions were filed against the largest producers in the Haynesville Shale, and operators have been flooded with demands and suits from unleased owners who relied on Johnson to contest the validity of post-production cost decisions from unleased interests.
Continue Reading Long-Awaited Victory on the Proper Deductibility of Post-Production Costs from Unleased Mineral Owners – The Western District of Louisiana Reverses Course in Johnson v. Chesapeake and Self v. BPX
Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:103.1 et seq. have been heavily litigated in recent years, but there are only a handful of reported decisions interpreting these statutes. Many of these decisions involve whether a party complied with the strict notice requirements contained in the statutes. B.A. Kelly Land Company, L.L.C. v. Aethon Energy Operating, L.L.C., 25…
In recent years, there has been an increase in litigation relating to the unleased owner reporting requirements contained in La. R.S. 30:103.1 and the penalty imposed in La. R.S. 30:103.2. There are few cases interpreting these statutes. However, the existing authority recognizes that even if an operator fails to comply with such reporting requirements, an unleased owner must provide sufficient notice under La. R.S. 30:103.1 and 103.2 before the statutory penalty may be imposed. The recent non-final interlocutory ruling in Limekiln Development, Inc. v. XTO Energy, Inc., provides yet another data point in an otherwise barren area of Louisiana law about the notices required under this statutory scheme in order to properly place operators on notice and to potentially impose the penalty of La. R.S. 30:103.2.
Continue Reading United States Western District of Louisiana Issues Opinion on Notice Required Under La. R.S. 30:103.1 and 103.2 to State a Plausible Claim for Relief
While the long-term fallout from the recent decline in oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic remains unclear, it is clear that drilling activity has already started to decline. During this downturn in activity, mineral rights owners must remain cognizant of the maintenance activities necessary to preserve their mineral rights. Cannisnia Plantation, LLC v. Cecil Blount Farms, LLC, is the most recent decision that provides the industry with a real-life application of the rules under Louisiana law for maintaining mineral servitudes.
Continue Reading Louisiana Second Circuit Provides Guidance as to Good Faith Required When Conducting Operations Necessary to Interrupt Prescription of Mineral Servitude