» Subsurface Rights and Trespass Concerns a Frequent Issue in Texas Oil and Gas Industry

Subsurface Rights and Trespass Concerns a Frequent Issue in Texas Oil and Gas Industry

Subsurface trespassing is an all too common issue in oil and gas disputes. Everything might seem well on the surface, but part of owning property and exercising one’s rights is having the ability to exclude trespassers from invading a piece of land. This includes the surface and the subsurface. When a subsurface trespasser is draining your minerals, the result can prove extremely costly and even lead to environmental degradation. When there is a concern of a subsurface trespass, it is often critical to obtain legal representation to research property rights, titles and deeds, and agreements that govern tracts of land for use in oil and gas production.

Monetary awards may be given in regards to how a trespasser has made money from the subsurface minerals and, in some instances, how that area has declined in value due to the damage done. Remediation costs may also be taken into consideration depending on whether environmental damage has been caused.

In directional trespass cases, plaintiffs may be able to prove a bad-faith conversion of oil and gas. The value of the converted minerals or hydrocarbon may be assessed. If the defendant alleges that the conversion of oil was done in good faith – meaning that party did not know they were trespassing – some courts will deduct the cost of drilling and production and only award net value of the converted oil or gas. Sometimes the valid landowner will receive royalties rather than net profits.

Directional and horizontal trespassing is generally deemed neither necessary nor reasonable. When you have an oil and gas litigation concern, consider enlisting an experienced Texas oil and gas lawyer to help you. To learn more, contact Austin oil and gas attorney Gregory D. Jordan at (512) 419-0684.

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