The attorneys at UFJ&B understand the oil, gas and mineral business in Texas, as well as the ever-evolving body of law applied to the energy industry. Many of the attorneys at UFJ&B are land and mineral owners themselves, making it easier to understand and meet the legal needs of the firm’s clients. We routinely work with geologists, geophysicists, engineers, and landmen, and maintain strong connections to the energy industry in Texas.
Our firm represents land and mineral owners, and we have been fortunate to represent some of the largest landowners in Texas, as well as mineral lessors in some of the state’s most productive oil and gas fields. Our attorneys stay current on Texas law as it applies to oil, gas and mineral transactions.
UFJ&B attorneys are advocates for their clients and seek to maximize the value of our clients’ land and mineral rights through carefully tailored oil, gas and mineral leases, pooling agreements, mineral conveyances, pipeline easements, surface use agreements, and other documents.
Surface Use Agreements
In order to conserve and protect a landowner’s valuable farm or ranch, a comprehensive surface use agreement should be negotiated along with a mineral lease. Texas law favors the mineral estate over the surface estate, but a carefully drafted surface use agreement can protect the surface owners’ rights while allowing for exploration and drilling. A well-drafted SUA will add value to the surface estate, and may provide for penalties against an oil company in cases of non-compliance. The firm’s attorneys also assist landowners with the negotiation of pipeline easements, road easements, and other agreements that affect the surface estate.
An oil company’s activities may commence long before drilling rigs appear at the property’s gate. 3-D seismic studies are frequently employed by oil companies to identify geological formations and assess the viability of an expensive exploration program. The attorneys at UFJ&B work to ensure the mineral owner is paid fair compensation for the right to conduct seismic studies and has equal access to the seismic data obtained during these studies. With the data in hand, a mineral owner can maximize the value of the mineral estate in the open market.