Oil & Gas Disputes in Houston, TX
In the greater Houston area, we know there is no shortage of oil and natural gas. This is why our firm is dedicated to handling cases of oil and gas disputes. These arise when landowners who possess land that is being drilled on aren't receiving the payment and treatment they deserve. Oil and gas disputes often also involve oil and gas workers who are injured while performing their job duties. We are the firm to look to when you are facing these kinds of disputes.
Arnold & Itkin represents clients who own mineral rights to protect their rights to fair royalties, environmental protection of their land, and other concerns of landowners. Landowner concerns vary widely and range from maximizing income from royalties to protecting land from unnecessary damage to ensure that it remains viable for other purposes such as farming and grazing. Our oil and gas attorneys can help ensure that your concerns are addressed, and when they aren't, a Houston business litigation attorney can fight for your rights, in court if necessary.
About Oil & Gas Law in Texas
Oil and gas law in the United States is the body of law that relates to the acquisition and ownership of mineral rights in oil and gas both under the soil before discovery and after its capture, and adjudication regarding those rights. During the 1930s the Texas Legislature empowered the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC) to "prevent physical waste" in the oil production fields in East Texas. Through the years, Texas legislators have authorized additional authority and today the Texas Railroad Commission is the regulating authority for oil and gas production in Texas.
Recent booms in exploration and production in the Barnett Shale in Texas and the Haynesville Shale are forcing landowners to face the unfamiliar complexities of oil and gas law as they negotiate oil and gas leases with landmen for the oil and gas operators that are swarming their communities. If you hold mineral rights for land in these are other areas where there is active exploration or production you may need an oil and gas attorney.
How We Can Help with Oil & Gas Litigation
There are many more kinds of issues you can run into as a property owner, such as being underpaid for royalties, pipeline easements, quiet title, and more. If one of these situations describes what you are going through, then we may be able to help. At Arnold & Itkin, many of our attorneys attended prestigious business schools and graduated at the top of their class and then went on to work in the business world before they began to practice law.
Oil and gas litigation might include claims by royalty or mineral owners who need help with issues such as title research, finding out their rights, or division orders. Division orders can sometimes be cause for concern to a landowner because oil and gas companies will often combine multiple properties into a unit and then pay landowners based on a percentage. Sometimes that percentage will lead to an incorrect payment amount.
When premises are leased, landowners may develop some of the following concerns:
- The company may be refusing to develop the land as promised, therefore leaving the lessor without payment.
- Oil and gas drilling operations also have the potential to damage property.
- Lessors may even wish to terminate a lease with an oil or gas company.
Want to Break an Existing Oil & Gas Lease?
Maybe you are caught in an existing oil and gas lease with an operator who isn't developing the field. Meanwhile operators are drilling producing wells on neighboring property and draining a shared reservoir of resources in which you have a stake. In fact, you may be experiencing money damages without even realizing it. Oil and gas companies have a duty to protect the leasehold against drainage. If you are caught in such a situation, we can help you claim damages for royalties on production that would have been produced from the well that was never drilled.
Circumstances may enable you to break an oil or gas lease without undesirable consequences. Oil and gas companies have certain implied duties including a duty to develop, a duty to protect against drainage, and a duty to market. They may also have specific duties and deadlines spelled out in the oil and gas lease. If any of those duties are not fulfilled within the deadlines, they may be in breach of contract affording you an opportunity to exit the agreement.
Nuances in oil and gas lease agreements may also limit the scope of an oil and gas company's rights based on the depth of exploration. New technologies that make deeper reserves accessible may create opportunities to renegotiate existing leases or enter new leases for deeper exploration. We can help you understand your options.
Contact a Business Lawyer in Texas Today
Our attorneys are extremely skilled in commercial litigation, and have handled many cases of oil and gas disputes successfully for our clients. This is a winning combination that you need on your side after you encounter an oil and gas dispute. Our firm will thoroughly evaluate your case to determine if you are entitled to a commercial litigation claim. Should you become our client, we promise to offer you the highest quality of legal assistance possible.