Oil & Gas Basics

Learn the Basics from a Houston Oil & Gas Lawyer

The Houston Oil and Gas Attorney at Herring Law Firm is dedicated to providing strategic litigation on behalf of his clients. Throughout his practice, Attorney Mason Herring has consistently sought to increase his knowledge of the law and practice effective risk management and conflict resolution. Herring Law Firm has a full understanding of the oil and gas industry and knows how the industry is impacted by oil and gas laws. The firm can be trusted to handle a range of industry-related disputes, trials, and other litigation matters.

What are minerals?

Before understanding your mineral rights or surface ownership rights, it will be essential to understand what minerals are. Minerals are materials that are extracted from the ground. Minerals can exist in many geological forms, including the following:

  • Metal ores
  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Natural gas
  • Gemstones
  • Construction aggregate
  • Gas shale
  • Salt

Typical Oil & Gas Leases

Entering into a mineral lease is a type of business transaction. An oil and gas lease will be a legally binding contract between a mineral owner (called a "lessor") and a potential mineral developer (called a "lessee") and must be documented in writing. Generally speaking, the state will regulate persons involved in mineral ownership and development. Understanding how the laws affect mineral owners and oil companies is pivotal in the negotiation of lease agreements.

At Herring Law Firm, a skilled Houston Oil and Gas Lawyer can help you through the drafting of a mineral lease, royalty assignment, or other document involving the oil and gas industry. If your matter comes into dispute, the firm can be trusted to represent you competently and efficiently. The firm believes that the best way to avoid litigation can be through effective representation from the outset, so consult Herring Law Firm as soon as possible.

Key Players Involved in the Oil & Gas Development Industry

Many players are involved in the development of oil and gas. Each party has its own unique rights, obligations, and contributions. At Herring Law Firm, the Texas oil and gas law attorney can represent any side of a dispute involving the operation, development, and leasing of oil and gas wells. The relationship between these parties can often result in disputes, so enlist the help of a skilled attorney who can address the conflicts head-on with satisfactory results in mind.

Mineral Owners
Mineral owners are the individuals who own the mineral rights associated with a tract of land. Mineral owners have specific private property rights regarding minerals such as oil and gas beneath the surface of their properties. By understanding your land, mineral, and property rights as a mineral owner, you can fully protect yourself from coming up on the losing end of a dispute.

Surface Owners
Surface owners are individuals who own the right to use the surface of land. Surface owners are commonly referred to as landowners. Surface owners have specific rights and limitations, including the right to control surface use and surface damages.

Oil & Gas Companies
Oil and gas companies are entities that may seek out other mineral owners or surface owners. They may lease the mineral rights from a mineral owner and other parties in the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas companies cannot legally extract or drill any minerals from an owner unless the mineral rights have been leased to them.

State Agencies
Several state government agencies play an active role in the oil and gas industry in Texas. The primary government agencies in Texas include the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The Memorandum of Understanding provides regulatory jurisdiction over these two agencies.

Mineral owners should become familiar with relevant questions and issues, carefully review any lease agreement, and offer negotiation possibilities. Before entering into any lease, it is wise to retain a knowledgeable attorney who has a firm understanding of the oil and gas industry and the leasing process. Your legal representative can help you understand how the two areas intersect and impact your rights as a mineral owner.

Do you have more questions? Call Herring Law Firm today!

The information provided on this page is just the tip of the iceberg. Texas oil and gas law is incredibly nuanced. If you have further questions or concerns regarding an oil and gas litigation issue, Herring Law Firm is here to help. The firm specifically counsels clients – including owners, companies, and agencies – in various areas of oil and gas law. The firm's versatility and skill in this field is reflected in Attorney Mason Herring's inclusion in theTexas Super Lawyers® Rising Stars lists of 2014 and 2015.

Contact Herring Law Firm today to schedule your free leasehold evaluation!

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