Key Operating & Equip., Inc. v. Hegar

A mineral lessee operated two wells on two contiguous tracts of land. When one of the wells stopped producing, the lessee pooled parts of the two mineral leases. Landowners subsequently bought a tract of land that included the road the lessee used to access the producing well. The road was across the surface of the lease without production. After traffic on the road increased, the landowners filed suit against the lessee, claiming that the lessee had no legal right to use the surface of their tract of land to produce minerals from the operating well. The trial court determined that the lessee did not have the right to use the road to access the producing lease and granted declaratory and injunctive relief. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) once pooling occurred, the pooled parts of the two contiguous tracts no longer maintained separate identities insofar as where production from the pooled interests was located; and (2) therefore, the lessee had the right to use the road to access the pooled part of the tract of land containing the producing well. View "Key Operating & Equip., Inc. v. Hegar" on Justia Law