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Enron Oil & Gas Company v. Worth

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
947 P.2d 610 (Okla. Civ. App. 1997)


Virgil Worth (defendant) owned the surface of a tract of land. A third party owned the mineral estate beneath the surface. Enron Oil & Gas Company (Enron) (plaintiff) obtained from the mineral owner permits to conduct seismic operations on the property to test for oil and gas. Despite this, Worth did not permit Enron to enter upon his surface land. Enron filed a petition for a declaratory judgment and an injunction. The trial court held that when surface and mineral rights have been severed, while mineral owners have the right to conduct geophysical exploration, they may not sever that right from the right to develop and produce the minerals. Accordingly, the trial court held that Enron’s permits were not valid. Enron appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Goodman, J.)

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