In Mercury-Ward LLC v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., a top lessee and family members of the lessor argued that Anadarko's lease had terminated because an extension of the lease was executed by one family member but not her children. Anadarko argued that its lease extension was valid because, among other reasons, (1) the lessor inherited the minerals in fee simple, not in life tenancy, and thus had full authority by herself to execute the lease extension; and (2) the lessor's children had no standing to challenge the lease extension's validity because, under their father's will, their prospective interest in the minerals was unvested as a matter of law. The trial court agreed with Anadarko, entering judgment that Plaintiffs take nothing on their claims.
In Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc. v. Petroplex Energy, Inc., Petroplex claimed that Pioneer's lease had partially terminated and segregated into separate leases at the end of the lessee's continuous-development operations. Pioneer moved for summary judgment, arguing that production on the fully developed lease perpetuated the lease in its entirety, and that no language in the lease supported Petroplex's argument that production in any particular drilled area perpetuated the lease only as to that area. The trial court agreed with Pioneer and granted its motion for partial summary judgment.