Springer Ranch, Ltd. v. Jones
Texas Court of Appeals
421 S.W.3d 273, 178 O. & G.R. 532 (2013)
Alice Burkholder owned 8,545 acres of land in Texas. Burkholder signed an oil-and-gas lease on the entire property. The surface estate was subdivided into three tracts, with Springer Ranch, Ltd. (Springer) (plaintiff) owning an undivided interest in one tract and Rosalie Matthews Sullivan (defendant) owning an undivided interest in another tract. In 1993, the three subdivision owners, including Springer and Sullivan, entered into a contract providing that all royalties under the Burkholder lease would be “paid to the owner of the surface estate on which [the producing well was] situated.” The contract covered six vertical wells, two on each of the three tracts, that were in existence at the time of the contract’s execution. Approximately 20 years after the execution of the contract, a horizontal well was drilled. The wellhead was on Springer’s surface estate, but the well’s drainhole ran horizontally underground and into the area underneath Sullivan’s surface estate. Sullivan demanded a portion of the royalty payments resulting from this well from the well’s operator. Springer argued that according to the terms of the contract, Springer was entitled to all royalties resulting from the minerals produced from the new well. Springer brought suit against Sullivan, seeking a declaratory judgment to this effect. The trial court found that the terms of the contract required that royalties be paid based on the location of the productive portions of the well. Springer appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Chapa, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.