Key Operating & Equipment, Inc. v. Hegar, 435 S.W.3d 794 (Tex 2014)
Case held that where two mineral leases are pooled but production is from only one of the leases, the mineral lessee has the right to use roads on the surface of the lease without production to access the producing well on the other lease.
Key operates the Richardson #1 well on a 60-acre Richardson tract and has done so since 1987. In 1994 Key acquired a lease on a 191-acre contiguous tract, the Curbo/Rosenbaum Tract, on which Key reworked the Rosenbaum #2 well and built a road across the Curbo/Rosenbaum Tract allowing access to the Richardson #1 well. The Rosenbaum #2 stopped producing in 2000 and the lease expired. Also in 2000, Key’s owners bought a 12 ½ % interest in the mineral estate under the Curbo/Rosenbaum Tract which they leased to Key. Key then pooled its lease under 10 acres of the Curbo/Rosebaum Tract with 30 acres under the Richardson tract.
The Supreme Court held that the primary legal consequence of pooling, which both leases permitted, was that production and operations anywhere on the pooled unit is treated as having taken place on each tract within the unit. Since production from the pooled part of the Richardson Tract was legally also production from the pooled part of the Curbo/Rosenbaum Tract, Key had the right to use the road to access the Richardson tract.