Texas Wesleyan Law Review
Playing the “Wild Card” in the Highstakes Game of Urban Drilling: Unconscionability in the Early Barnett Shale Gas Leases
But what about those who signed leases in the early stages of the Barnett Shale boom? Being uneducated about mineral rights-leasing and unprepared to face negotiations with sophisticated oil and gas companies and landmen, were the early signers of Barnett Shale leases simply the unfortunate pioneers of this unprecedented phenomenon known as "urban leasing?" The early signers of Barnett Shale leases were not privy to the knowledge of how to gain a better bargaining position by organizing their neighborhoods or the benefits of waiting until the competition for their mineral rights heats up before they signed a mineral lease. Are these early signers of Barnett Shale leases simply out of luck? Or is there a legal remedy available to the early signers of Barnett Shale leases that could help even the playing field or rescind a lease and allow early signers a chance to renegotiate? This Comment will explore potential answers to these questions. Part II of this Comment provides background information on the Barnett Shale, including a physical description of the Barnett Shale and why it is such an unusual natural gas play. Part III of this Comment introduces the legal document known as the oil and gas lease and explains what legal rights are created when one signs a lease with an oil and gas company. One cannot expect to understand the legal questions that may arise with Barnett Shale gas leases without first understanding the basics of an oil and gas lease. Part IV of this Comment analyzes the area of contract law known as unconscionability, which may be available to the early signers of Barnett Shale leases who want to rescind, renegotiate, or cancel an oil and gas lease. Finally, Part V of this Comment discusses the lessons that hopefully have been learned from the Barnett Shale urban leasing phenomenon and suggests how other cities may better prepare and protect their citizens when the next Barnett Shale is discovered
J. Z. Burt,
Playing the “Wild Card” in the Highstakes Game of Urban Drilling: Unconscionability in the Early Barnett Shale Gas Leases,
Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.37419/TWLR.V15.I1.1