ConocoPhillips Co. v. Koopmann

547 S.W.3d 858 (2018)

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ConocoPhillips Co. v. Koopmann

Texas Supreme Court
547 S.W.3d 858 (2018)

Facts

In 1996, Lois Streiber (defendant) conveyed land to Lorene Koopmann (plaintiff) and Koopmann’s husband. The conveyance deed reserved for Streiber a 15-year, one-half nonparticipating royalty interest (NPRI) in oil, gas, and other mineral production from the land, which could be extended “as long thereafter” as oil, gas, or other minerals were being produced under an oil-and-gas lease. Koopmann subsequently entered an oil-and-gas lease that was later assigned to Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, L.P. (Burlington) (defendant). The NPRI’s 15-year term expired on December 27, 2011, but production from the land did not begin until February 2012. Koopmann sued Streiber and Burlington, seeking a declaration that Koopmann owned the NPRI as of December 27, 2011. The trial court entered judgment for Koopman. On appeal, Burlington asserted that Streiber’s reservation of the NPRI created a future interest in Koopmann that was invalid under the rule against perpetuities (RAP) (i.e., the rule that a future interest must vest no later than 21 years after some life in being at the creation of the interest). The appellate court held that the RAP did not invalidate Koopmann’s interest. Burlington appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Green, J.)

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