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Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of Am. v. Pool

Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo

October 12, 2000, Decided

NO. 07-99-0429-CV


 [*623]  This dispute is between parties to a gas lease in which the lessors claim that the lease has terminated due to a cessation in production. Appellants Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL), MidCon Gas Services Corp. (MidCon), and Chesapeake Panhandle Limited Partnership (Chesapeake) appeal from a judgment rendered against them in favor of appellees 1 that the subject gas lease terminated pursuant to the terms of the habendum clause of the lease and which awarded damages and attorney's fees.

 [**2]  [*624]   In 13 points, appellants claim that (1) the trial court erred in granting summary judgment that the lease terminated because of cessation of production; (2) they established the affirmative defense of laches as a matter of law; (3) they established the affirmative defense of revivor as a matter of law; (4) they established title by adverse possession as a matter of law; (5) the trial court erred in awarding damages for bad faith trespass since appellants' possession of the mineral estate following termination of the lease was permissive; (6) the trial court erred in admitting the deposition testimony of Don Darsey; (7) the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the finding of fraud and the award of exemplary damages; (8) the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the finding that appellants produced gas in bad faith; the trial court erred in awarding (9) damages for the four-year period preceding the filing of the lawsuit; (10) attorney's fees; (11) prejudgment interest; (12) a judgment jointly and severally for actual damages; and (13) to appellees the well and lease equipment. For the reasons set forth below, we modify the judgment and, as [**3]  modified, affirm it.

On January 5, 1937, J. T. Sneed, Jr. and Elizabeth Sneed Pool, each individually and as independent executors of the estate of Zella Sneed, Deceased, executed a gas mining lease in favor of Texoma Natural Gas Company covering Section 8, Section 9, the southwest quarter of Section 7, and 200 acres of the southeast portion of Section 6 in Block B-12, D&P Ry. Co. Survey, Moore County, Texas. The lease was to remain in force subject to other provisions in the lease "pending the commencement and continuation of drilling operations on said land as hereinafter provided, and as long thereafter as natural gas is produced and marketed from any well on said land." Appellants are successors-in-interest to Texoma Natural Gas Company.

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30 S.W.3d 618 *; 2000 Tex. App. LEXIS 6903 **; 151 Oil & Gas Rep. 71


Subsequent History: Petition for review granted: Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of Am. v. Pool, 2001 Tex. LEXIS 125 (Tex. Dec. 13, 2001).

Petition for review granted by Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of Am. v. Pool, 2001 Tex. LEXIS 125 (Tex., Dec. 13, 2001)Reversed by Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of Am. v. Pool, 120 S.W.3d 317, 2003 Tex. LEXIS 246, 46 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 1077 (Tex., 2003)

Reversed by, Judgment entered by Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of Am. v. Pool, 2003 Tex. LEXIS 526, 47 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 153 (Tex., 2003)


Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of Am. v. Pool, 30 S.W.3d 639, 2000 Tex. App. LEXIS 6902 (Tex. App. Amarillo, 2000)

Disposition: As modified, judgment affirmed.


lease, terminated, cessation, attorney's fees, appellants', trespass, trial court, royalty, damages, summary judgment, no writ, records, adverse possession, appellant's claim, mineral, laches, orders, deposition, matter of law, lawsuit, oil, declaratory judgment, bad faith, notice, trespass to try title, affirmative defense, gas production, gas lease, repudiation, modified

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