When an oil or gas company is aware of minerals available under land owned by another individual, they will likely attempt to put together a mineral lease. These leases allow the company to enter the property and conduct tests to determine if suitable minerals exists.
If a mining company determines that minerals exist, they may begin production right away or as soon as possible; they must mine these minerals before the lease expires though. Additionally, the owner of the property is paid a share of the production income, known as royalties.
Although these agreements can be favorable, when a breach of contract occurs or landowners’ rights are violated, many property owners will not know until it is too late and their land has been damaged or their compensation is missing.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a negligent oil or gas company, our attorneys are ready to help you fight for your rights.
Call Simien & Simien at (800) 374-8422 or fill out the contact form to your right for a free case evaluation.
Louisiana Mineral Code
Title 31 of the Louisiana covers the state mineral code, which includes the ownership of solid materials and the rights of landowners. According to §16, “The basic mineral rights that may be created by a landowner are the mineral servitude, the mineral royalty, and the mineral lease…Mineral rights are real rights and are subject either to the prescription of nonuse for ten years or to special rules of law governing the term of their existence.”
According to part five of the code, a landowner may lease his right to explore and develop his land for production of minerals. §120 goes on to say that the liability of the lessor for breach of warranty is limited to recovery of money paid or other property or its value given to the lessor for execution or maintenance of the lease and any royalties delivered on production from the lease.
If a mineral lessor seeks relief for the failure of the lessee to make proper payment, the lessor must give written notice of such failure. The lessee has 30 days to pay the royalties or respond in writing with a reasonable cause for delay of payment. If the failure to pay royalties continues, dissolution may be granted only under the appropriate circumstances.
Navigating through the mineral code can be difficult for most individuals, particularly as it delves into the legal rights of landowners. An attorney can help you go over an oil or gas lease to determine if your rights are being covered. If you are in a dispute over an oil or gas lease, you need someone in your corner – and Simien & Simien is ready to help.
Contact our Oilfield Contamination Lawyers
An oilfield contamination lawsuit may help address the concerns of landowners whose property was damaged or when a company fails to meet the requirements of an oil or gas lease.
If you or a loved one is dealing with a mineral lease dispute, breach of contract or other oil and gas lease matter, our attorneys can help. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in oil and gas law and can help you navigate this confusing subject.
We have lawyers licensed in Louisiana and with appropriate counsel, we can also provide representation in other states. Some areas where our firm has assisted clients, includes:
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
- New Orleans
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us to schedule a free legal consultation with one our experienced attorneys.