Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P LLC, 4th Court of Appeals, San Antonio
October 14, 2015, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 10542
Where the surface and mineral estates have been severed, the court held that the surface owners control the surface of the land and all of the subsurface other than the oil and gas itself.
Lightning had a lease on the Cutlass Lease, which constituted the mineral estate under the Briscoe Ranch. Anadarko had a lease from the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area, adjacent to the Briscoe Ranch. Anadarko secured the permission of the Briscoe Ranch to place drilling rigs on the surface of the Briscoe Ranch and to drill vertically to 8,000 feet and the deviate to reach the minerals under the CWMA. Lightning argued that this use of the Briscoe Ranch was a trespass. The court held that there was no trespass as Anadarko did not intend to open up any of its well bore other than within the CWMA.