Texas Wesleyan Law Review

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Over the past several years, advances in drilling technology and skyrocketing prices for natural gas have led to extraordinary events in the oil and gas exploration industry. At the height of the boom, increased exploration for natural gas in urban areas created opportunities never thought possible before by owners of urban lands-gas rigs began popping up in urban neighborhoods like dandelions in the front yard, natural gas companies began paying unprecedented bonus payments of $30,000 or more per acre, and contractual royalty payments virtually doubled to a now-typical rate of 25%. Of the many beneficiaries of these events, landowners and mineral owners within the Barnett Shale region of Texas are among the most prominent and well-known. Although the natural gas boom has dramatically fallen away since late 2008, there can be no doubt that the market will one day recover. And when it does, a great deal of emphasis will likely be placed on the Haynesville Shale, which spans portions of east Texas, northwestern Louisiana, and southeastern Arkansas. As the development of the Haynesville Shale progresses, and as many of the oil and gas professionals in Texas begin to migrate eastward, it is important for those accustomed to Texas oil and gas law to develop an understanding of Louisiana law as it relates to mineral interests. Indeed, there are critical differences between the laws of Texas and Louisiana that can have a significant impact on identifying who has the capacity to enter into mineral leases, timing the commencement of drilling operations, and classifying those who are entitled to receive financial benefit from production-differences that those involved in the process must be prepared to navigate. This paper is intended to serve as a starting point in that endeavor.



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