El Paso Court of Appeals Renders Take-Nothing Judgments in Novel Executive-Rights Dispute
In two related and novel oil-and-gas disputes, a group of investors leased to themselves partial mineral interests in West Texas properties based on a disputed fractional executive interest. The group asserted that they had inherited the stranded (or “naked”) fractional executive interest in the properties, which they in turn asserted gave them a right to considerable oil-and-gas profits after they executed a contract leasing the minerals to themselves. The trial court agreed with the investors and held that they were owed a substantial sum of back and future payments. Ryan Clinton led the appellate efforts and presented oral argument on behalf of Defendants/Appellants Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. After briefing and argument, the court of appeals reversed and rendered judgment that the investors take nothing from Chesapeake and Anadarko. The court held that the investors did not own the executive interest upon which they based their claims, but instead that a non-party to the dispute had previously purchased the disputed executive rights. Chesapeake Exploration L.L.C. v. BNW Property Co., No. 08-11-00239-CV, 2012 WL 5987573 (Tex. App.—El Paso Nov. 30, 2012, no pet. h.); Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. BNW Property Co., No. 08-11-00238-CV, 2012 WL 5987570 (Tex. App.—El Paso Nov. 30, 2012, no pet. h.).