{ Banner Image }
Search this blog

Subscribe for updates

Recent Posts

Blog editor

Blog Contributors

Showing 4 posts in Deeds.

In September of 2011, we first posted about the case of Butler v. Estate of Powers in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed a Pennsylvania trial court decision holding that, under long-standing precedent, any grant of mineral rights that did not expressly include natural gas similarly did not include shale gas.  The Superior Court disagreed, relying on United States Steel Corp. v. Hoge, 468 A.2d 1380 (Pa. 1983)(Hoge II) which held that the party with the rights to coal also had rights to the coalbed gas contained in the coal.  Instead, the Superior Court remanded the case to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing on, in essence, whether shale gas is similar to coalbed gas and should be treated that way.  At the time we first discussed theButler case, we concluded: Read More »

In April, we reported on an Arkansas Supreme Court case which held that, at least as of 1934, the term “mineral rights” included oil and gas as a matter of law.  But what about deeds of an older vintage?  Last week, the Arkansas Supreme Court, inNicholson v. Upland Industrial Development Co., 2012 Ark. 326 (Sept. 13, 2012), ruled that a 1903 deed reserving “mineral rights” included oil and gas rights because at the time of the deed and in the general region where the deed was executed, that was the common understanding.  In other words, the per se rule announced in Staggs v, Union Pacific RR Co.* did not apply. Read More »

Yesterday, in discussing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s grant of review in Butler v. Estate of Powers, we suggested that maybe it was time to do away with the rebuttable presumption that the owner of “mineral rights” does not own rights in a property’s natural gas stores and instead make it a firm rule of law, particularly in light of the fact that the presumption has been around for over a century.    Well, last week, this is exactly the step that the Supreme Court of Arkansas took in Staggs v, Union Pacific RR Co., 2012 Ark. 156 (Apr. 12, 2012), although holding that “mineral rights” do include oil and gas rights.  Read More »

On September 7, 2011, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued its decision in Butler v. Estate of Powers, 2011 Pa Super 198, sending the case back to the trial court to decide, in short, who owns the natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation — the owner of the mineral rights, or the owner of the oil and gas rights. Read More »