November 7, 2014

More New Oil and Gas Pipelines for Texas Counties

New oil and gas pipelines are being constructed in Texas at an almost frantic pace. Just this week, Lone Star NGL LLC announced that it has received the go-ahead from its board to lay a new natural gas liquids pipeline from the Permian basin in West Texas to Mont Belvieu, Texas near the Gulf of Mexico. Lone Star is a joint venture formed by Energy Transfer Partners LP and Regency Energy Partners LP. Both companies have headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

The new pipeline will extend for 533 miles and will be both 24 inches and 30 inches in diameter. The exact route has not been announced but possible routes will probably be from the Permian basin area shown on the map in green and the Gulf of Mexico. As you can see from the map, this new line has the potential to impact many Texas counties and also to effect many Texas landowners.permianbasincounties.jpg

Pipeline easements are complex documents. A landowner may have to live with the easement the sign for the rest of their life time and for the duration of their descendants’ lifetimes as well. There are many things a landowner can require in a pipeline easement or right-of-way that the pipeline company is simply not going to offer you. You have to know how to ask for them and how to negotiate for them.

If your property is important to you, then when the land man for the pipeline company contacts you, tell them that you will be happy to discuss an easement or right-of-way with them, and that you will have your attorney contact them. Unless you are experienced in Texas pipeline easement and right-of-way law, you can do yourself and your property a lot of harm by signing something without getting the assistance of an experienced attorney first.

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November 7, 2014

Community Engagement Guidelines for Oil and Gas Companies

After three years of meetings and study, the American Petroleum Institute issued a new set of guidelines for community interaction by oil and gas operators involved with unconventional oil and gas exploration. The document is called “Community Engagement Guidelines” and outlines recommendations for oil and gas development consistent with the concerns and priorities of the community where the development is taking place.

API’s Standards Director David Miller said that “(i)t’s a first-of-its-kind industry standard for community engagement. These guidelines will provide a road map for oil and gas operators seeking to build lasting, successful relationships with local residents in areas of the country where energy development opportunities are open for the first time, thanks to advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.”

The industry is trying to be a “good neighbor” and use responsible practices, learn from past experiences, mitigate potential impacts and work towards long term sustainability, according to Mr. Miller. He said “(e)ach community is different, and the standards are not designed to be exhaustive, but rather to serve as a reference for developing a plan-of-action that matches the needs and concerns of a broad range of stakeholders—from rural farmers to indigenous tribes.”

The API Community Engagement Guidelines are similar to existing guidelines for the pipeline and railroad industries. API stressed that these Guidelines were not developed as a reaction to communities trying to restrict fracing or oil and gas development. Karen Moreau, the New York State Petroleum Council’s Executive Director, said: “We’re not here to mirror environmental groups’ activities. Our member companies spend their time developing technologies and improving production to make their operations better. We don’t take our cues from environmental groups that apparently aren’t held to the same standards we are. Many of the bans in New York are in towns where there are no prospects for development. We’ve been engaging with communities where it looks more likely.”

The Guidelines are divided into five phases. During the entry phase, where companies determine energy extraction potential, the companies are “encouraged to introduce key personnel to local leaders, share information on safety commitments and operational goals, and set professional standards for local employees and contractors.” During the exploration phase, there should be dialogue and education through community meetings and discussions. In the development phase, “companies are urged to work with local emergency responders to prepare against any potential risks” and to develop relationships with mineral owners. In the operations phase, long-term standards for maintenance and traffic should be implemented, and a public feedback mechanism is also recommended. The fifth and final phase is the exit phase, during which “...it is recommended that (the oil companies) engage with the community regarding plans for reclamation and restoration, and prepare stakeholders for the transition.”

Mr. Miller noted that “As with all our standards on hydraulic fracturing, API’s Global Industry Services division will work hand-in-hand with industry participants to educate operators on the successful deployment of engagement strategies.”

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. While there have always been oil and gas companies in Texas who have treated mineral and surface owners with respect, there also have always been those whose arrogant attitude and disrespect is legendary. I suspect that these Guidelines may not have a substantial impact on the behavior of either group. However, for oil companies who are just getting into the development of unconventional resources, these Guideline should be useful. In addition, for persons in communities in which development of unconventional (or conventional) oil and gas resources is taking place, the Guidelines offer an articulate expression of what is reasonable to expect from the oil or gas company in their area.

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October 31, 2014

Hackers Target Oil and Gas Companies

There is a threat to oil and gas companies that seems to have been under the radar so far, and that threat is hackers. It is a problem that can effect oil and gas companies and also energy investment firms. Nicole Perlroth at the New York Times published an article earlier this year on the issue of Russian hackers that you can read here. The author indicates that Russian hackers have been “systematically targeting” hundreds of different oil and gas companies and investment firms in the West.

disc-smashed-by-hammer-1-1418171-m.jpg Ms. Perlroth quotes researchers in the cyber security field who say the motive for these Russian cyber attacks is industrial espionage, given Russia’s important domestic oil and gas industry. She refers to research by a number of computer security companies: CrowdStrike, Symantec and F-Secure, regarding the severity of the problem.

The damage so far pales compared to the potential damage. As the oil and gas industry turns more and more to digital solutions for exploration, drilling and production, they become increasingly vulnerable.

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October 24, 2014

Gas Royalties Case Decided by Texas Supreme Court

As readers of this blog know, we have been following the case of Marcia Fuller French, et al. v. Occidental Permian Ltd., which is an important Texas case involving gas royalties. You can read our previous blog post here. The case was heard by the Supreme Court of Texas on February 5, 2014 and the The Texas Supreme Court has issued its decision.

As you may recall, Martha Fuller French and the other Plaintiffs were royalty owners and lessors on two oil and gas leases in Scurry County and Kent County, Texas. One lease is referred to in the decision as the “Fuller Lease”, which was executed in 1948, and the other lease is referred to as the “Cogdell Lease”, which was leased 1949.

In 2001, Occidental Permian began injecting wells on these leases with carbon dioxide to boost oil production. As a result, the natural gas produced from these leases contained about 85% carbon dioxide. Occidental then treated the gas to remove the carbon dioxide and sold the remaining gas, sending the carbon dioxide back to be reused at the well. Occidental paid Ms. French and the others royalties on the gas after it was treated and then deducted treatment costs from the royalties.

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In Texas, the general rule, which can be modified by the language in a lease, is that royalties are not subjected to the costs of production, but are usually subjected to post-production costs, including taxes, treatment costs to render the hydrocarbons marketable, and transportation costs. Ms. French and the other Plaintiffs claimed that they should have received royalties on all gas produced, that Occidental should not have deducted post production costs, and since these costs were deducted from their royalties, they were underpaid by Occidental. The trial court agreed with them and awarded them $10.5 million in compensation. The case then went to the Texas Court of Appeals in Eastland, Texas, which overturned the judgment of the trial court and vacated the $10.5 million award.

In the Texas Supreme Court, the principal issues were: 1) whether the gas should be valued in its original state, before extraction from the well, or at the wellhead where it is commingled with carbon dioxide; 2) whether removing, compressing, and transporting carbon dioxide should be classified as a production operation; and 3) whether carbon dioxide removal off site for reuse is a production operation.

In a decision written by Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. The decision held that carbon dioxide removal is a post-production expense that royalty owners share with the field operator. In the leases in this case, the Plaintiffs gave Occidental the right and discretion to decide whether to reinject or process the casinghead gas (which is gas produced with oil in oil wells, which is different from gas produced in a gas well) and since the Plaintiff royalty owners benefited from that decision, the royalty owners must share the cost of carbon-dioxide removal. The Court pointed out that the Fuller Lease specifies that the cost must be considered when determining the market value of the gas, and it is this figure that the royalty is based on. The Cogdell Lease provided that the cost of off-site manufacturing of the natural gas liquids and residue gas is deducted from royalties.

This decision contains two important lessons. First, an oil and gas lease may last for decades. Secondly, whether or not costs are deducted from your royalties can make a substantial difference in the amount of your royalty check. This case illustrates once again how critical it is to have an experienced oil and gas attorney review the fine print before you sign an oil and gas lease.

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October 17, 2014

Texas Oil Prices are Dropping

The price of crude oil has been continuing to fall over the last few days. By some benchmarks, crude oil prices in Texas and globally are near to a four year low. For example, West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) was recently reported at $81.84 per barrel, well below the $100 to $120 per barrel evident more recently. In fact the WTI price closed down 4.77% recently, which is a substantial decrease. The current Brent Crude Oil price of $85.04 represents a decrease of $3.85 or 4.53%.

What is happening here? For many years in the past, conflict in the Middle East caused prices to increase. Currently, due certainly to the advances of ISIS but also because of other factors, the Middle East is in great turmoil, yet prices are sliding. Probably the general and economic malaise in this country has a lot to do with the slide in oil prices. Although the federal government minions feed us sound bites about how the economy is doing better, people out here in flyover country know better. Recently, President Obama touted the decreased unemployment rate. What he does not say, however, is that so many people who want to work have left the workforce that the resulting unemployment rate looks artificially better. Not only is the poor economic condition of our country a factor, the incredible threat of an Ebola epidemic, with its potentially catastrophic personal and economic consequences, is also playing a part.

Lower crude oil prices mean that gasoline is cheaper at the pump. However, there are some major negative impacts. For one thing, if the price of oil stays down below a certain level, oil exploration and production will decrease. Oil wells that can make a profit when oil is $100 per barrel may be losing money when oil is $85 per barrel and those wells may be plugged. Additionally, most of the oil and gas exploration in this country is done by small, independent oil and gas companies. When the price of oil declines, the smaller companies, with smaller capital reserves than the large oil companies, can no longer afford exploration activities. Taken together, both these reasons result in a decrease in domestic production of oil which results in larger imports from unstable countries in the Middle East

On a more personal level, lower oil prices and decreased exploration and production means that the many people who depend on oil and gas royalties to live on are going to need to tighten their belts. The vast majority of royalties go to individuals, not corporate conglomerates. For many of these individuals, the royalties constitute retirement income that is a necessary supplement to meager Social Security payments. For everyone in this situation, the lower prices are truly not good news.

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October 10, 2014

Fracing of Oil and Gas Wells Explained

The Real Estate Center at Texas A & M University has recently made available an educational video entitled "Inside Fracking" that explains the process of fracing oil and gas wells. (I still believe the correct spelling is "fracing"). You can access the video here. If you are wondering just what fracing is and why it is used, this video offers some clear explanations.

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October 3, 2014

Expansion of Shale Gas Facilities in Texas Gulf

It's good news for Texas mineral and royalty owners that oil and gas production in Texas is increasing, due in large part to the spike in natural gas production from shale reservoirs. It's also good news that plants that use that gas are being built.

For example, ExxonMobil Corporation is expanding its capacities on the Gulf of Mexico coast after EPA’s finalization of their permit on May 14, 2014. In Baytown, Texas, Exxon has begun work on a multibillion dollar expansion of their refining and petrochemical infrastructure to process shale-derived natural gas into plastics and other products. They plan to construct something called an ethane cracker, which is a facility in which complex organic molecules such as kerogens or heavy hydrocarbons are broken down into simpler molecules such as light hydrocarbons. The cracker will be able to process 1.5 million tons of gas per year and make ethylene stocks available for downstream chemical processing. The downstream facilities include an Exxon plastic plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas which processes 650,000 tons per year in two high performance polyethylene facilities. Ethylene is processed into polyethylene, which is a basic plastic that is used to make bags, bottles and other products.

In Mont Belvieu, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is going to build the two polyethylene facilities. The Baytown olefins plant has also awarded contracts to Linde Engineering North America Inc. and Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals Inc. to build olefin recovery units. Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. and Huertey Petrochem SA are building the olefin furnaces.

Construction will begin immediately and production is expected to commence in 2017, according to a statement by Exxon. Steve Pryor, head of ExxonMobil Chemical Co., said, “Shale development has provided U.S. chemical producers a double benefit as an energy source and as a key raw material to make plastics and other essential products, creating jobs and economic activity across the value chain.”

When there is an increased market for gas produced in Texas such as the Exxon plants described above, the incentive for oil and gas companies to continue to explore, drill for and produce gas increases. That in turn means more royalty payments and higher income to Texas mineral owners and royalty owners.

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September 26, 2014

Texas Property Owners Receive Large Award in Fracing Nuisance Claim

An interesting case was in the news recently and oil and gas attorneys have been following it with interest. The case is Lisa Parr, et al. vs. Aruba Petroleum, Inc., et al.; County Court at Law No. 5, Dallas County, Texas; Cause Number: CC-11-01650.

The Background

The Parrs have a 40 acre ranch in Decatur, Texas which is about 60 miles northwest of Dallas, Texas. The ranch sits on the Barnett Shale. Robert and Lisa Parr and their 11 year old daughter Emma alleged that they started having health problems in 2008, including migraine headaches, dizziness and nausea. By 2009, Lisa Parr said: "(m)y central nervous system was messed up. I couldn't hear, and my vision was messed up. My entire body would shake inside. I was vomiting white foam in the mornings." She claimed that her husband and daughter had nosebleeds, vision problems, nausea, rashes and blood pressure issues.

The Lawsuit

The Parr family filed a lawsuit against Aruba Petroleum and a number of other well operators with wells in the area in 2011, requesting $66 million in damages. Aruba Petroleum had 22 natural gas wells within two miles of the Parr’s land, with three wells close to the Parr’s house: the closest well was 791 feet from their house. The lawsuit claimed that Aruba Petroleum poorly managed the wells and did not have proper emissions controls, leading to a “private nuisance” of air pollution and the family's exposure to emissions, toxic air pollution and diesel exhaust. They claimed they got so sick that they could not work, and sometimes had to stay in Robert Parr’s office to escape the toxic environment.

Aruba claimed that: 1) the Parrs had no evidence that proved that diminished air quality at their home was due to the drilling of its wells; 2) Aruba had eliminated any environmental problems immediately and any contaminants were within air quality standards set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; 3) all operations of Aruba's wells complied with requirements of the Texas Railroad Commission; 4) the operation of the wells complied with all federal law and standards; and 5) any substances released into the air near the wells could not have made anyone sick.

The original lawsuit was not only against Aruba Petroleum, but also other oil and gas companies operating nearby. Halliburton won summary judgment against the Parrs last year. Other companies, including a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips Co., settled with the family.

The Judgment

In April 2014 the jury in the Dallas County Court of Law No. 5 awarded the Parr family $3 million dollars in a five to one jury verdict. The jury found that Aruba Petroleum took intentional steps to substantially interfere with the Parr family’s use of their home. The jury did not find that Aruba acted with malice however, and so the Court dismissed the Parr’s claims for exemplary damages. The award included $275,000 for loss of value to their property, $2 million for past physical pain and suffering of the three, $250,000 for future pain and suffering, and $400,000 for mental anguish. The judgement was signed by Judge Mark Greenberg on July 19, 2014. Judge Greenberg signed an order denying Aruba's motion for new trial on September 10, 2014 and Aruba has posted a supersedeas bond, which prevents the Plaintiffs from collecting the judgement until all appeals are exhausted.

Aruba said that it plans to appeal the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. An Aruba representative said: “There were hundreds of wells drilled in the area. Trying to tie the diminution of property value and the health effects to Aruba alone makes no sense.”

I am all in favor of oil companies paying for whatever damage they may cause. I have to confess that I am a bit mystified as to how the Parrs could prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that it was only the Aruba wells that caused their problems, when there were dozens of other wells in the area. It will be interesting to see what the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals does with this case.

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September 19, 2014

Paradigm Oil & Gas Expanding Texas Operations

Another oil and gas company is expanding its operations in Texas. Paradigm Oil and Gas Inc. is adding 50 new wells to its Texas operations through new leases from Magnum Oilfield Services, Bitter Creek Petroleum and Blackjack Services. The deal includes cash and stock, with Paradigm keeping between 70% to 95&% interest in the wells. Paradigm will be the operator of the wells. Some of the new leases are the Miller, Adobe, Somerset, WH Summers, Hall, Don & Ruby Roberts, Cole, Colley and Brinkmayer A. A full list and details of the transaction will be released later. These leases are in Tyler County, Liberty County, Bexar County, Atascosa County, Kaufman County and Callahan County, Texas.

Paradigm is an expanding oil and gas producer, and currently has 30 leases with nearly 300 wells. Recently, Paradigm announced that its April 2014 oil shipments produced record returns. The CEO of Paradigm, Vince Vellardita, told reporters that “(w)e shipped two loads in April from leases in Texas and Louisiana totaling nearly 309 barrels. Those wells have since produced another 466 barrels which are ready for pick up. This oil production and (these)shipments send a clear message to shareholders that we are delivering on our promise to generate revenue and achieve sustained profitability.” Many of the new Paradigm leases are between Dallas, Texas and Houston, Texas and others cover almost 4,000 acres in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford shale. Of the 50 new wells, 20 are producing revenue oil and gas already. A Paradigm operations division worker said it was another example of Paradigm’s “due diligence” in going after low-risk, high return properties that are very lucrative for the company.

Let's hope that Paradigm's efforts will result in increased royalties for Texas mineral owners whose leases will now be operated by Paradigm.

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September 12, 2014

Expansion of the Koch Oil & Gas Pipeline in Texas

The rapid pace of construction of new oil and gas pipelines to transport current energy production in Texas and North America continues. In fact, there has been an explosion of pipeline development in Texas. According to a recent study the industry needs to invest $200 billion nationally in capital for pipelines, storage and other facilities to meet demands from shale oil and gas by 2035. One example is River Rock Energy LLC, based in San Antonio, Texas, that has committed $125 million to fund logistics and infrastructure for the oil and gas industry, including the development of pipelines, railways and storage. The money comes from the private equity firm EnCap Flatrock Midstream. Wood Mackenzie, an energy research firm, expects about $23 billion in investment in the Eagle Ford shale alone, which is less than the $28 billion last year. The difference according to Wood Mackenzie is due to increased efficiency.

Recently, Koch Industries Inc., headed by the well-known conservative political donors Charles Koch and David Koch, announced that its subsidiary Koch Pipeline Co. LP plans to build a 24 mile, 16 inch pipeline in San Patricio County, Texas that is expected to be in service by the second quarter of 2014. Koch Pipeline has not released information on the cost of this new project.

tracks-in-field-1435693-s.jpg Koch Pipeline is based in Wichita, Kansas and already has about 4,000 miles of pipelines in six states including Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. Koch's pipelines transport a number of products, such as crude oil, refined products, ethanol, natural gas, and chemicals. The new pipeline will have a capacity of 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil and will expand Koch’s South Texas crude oil pipeline system. Their South Texas infrastructure already has 540 miles of pipeline to move crude oil to Corpus Christi’s Flint Hills Resources refinery, which is also affiliated with Koch Industries. The refinery processes locally produced crude oil from the Eagle Ford shale and has a capacity of approximately 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day, producing a variety of petroleum products. From the refinery, Koch has pipelines that move crude oil to San Antonio, Dallas, and other markets in Texas.

Koch Pipeline’s senior vice president Bob O’Hair said in a statement that “South Texas is an important area for Koch Pipeline, and we’ll continue to invest in it to ensure we have a system that meets the shippers’ needs in terms of capacity and reliability.” He went on to say that “(w)e are seeing additional opportunities with the Eagle Ford shale play and this new pipeline will help us move domestic crude to the U.S. market more efficiently by using a combination of new and existing pipeline infrastructure.”

This new pipeline builds on Koch Pipeline’s recent Eagle Ford investments. In 2012 a 20 inch crude oil pipeline was built between Pettus, Texas and the refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. That pipeline can carry 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Obviously, if new pipelines are being laid, landowners will get easement requests from pipeline companies. If you are a landowner and receive a request for an easement from a pipeline company, tell them that you would be glad to talk to them but that you will have the easement reviewed by an oil and gas pipeline attorney and that your attorney will be in touch with them promptly. Then, get the input of an experienced oil and gas pipeline attorney to make sure that your property is properly protected and that you are paid appropriately for the pipeline and any temporary construction areas. These easements often last longer than your lifetime and can have a substantial impact on your property. It makes sense to get professional input on a contract that is this important.

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September 5, 2014

Texas Oil and Gas Industry Attracting Best and Brightest

The oil and gas industry both nationwide and in Texas has provided a steady stream of good economic news. Wells are being drilled and pipelines are being built and investment in infrastructure (particularly in areas with shale gas) and in technological improvements is increasing. For quite a while it seemed that an older workforce dominated the industry. That has been changing.

Businessweek recently discussed how a growing number of young people, the so-called “Millennials”, are getting involved in the oil industry. Today about 71% of the oil industry’s workforce is over 50 years old, but the industry is now undergoing what the Independent Petroleum Association of America is calling the “great crew change”.

This change has resulted in part from the excitement of the new drilling technology in the U.S. A new generation of wildcatters, landmen, engineers, investors, entrepreneurs and aspiring oil barons are coming of age and creating even more opportunities. One such new entrepreneur is 27 year old Mark Hiduke, who calls himself a Texas oilman. His company, PetroCore LLC is based in Dallas and is just a few months old. As of May, 2013 he obtained $100 million from a local private-equity firm this month. The company plans to purchase underdeveloped land and drill shale wells. He told Businessweek that the opportunities were arising from new energy technology and that the shale boom had created many opportunities to “jump in and be given enormous responsibility”.

Mr. Hiduke is not alone. Young entrepreneurs are forming companies dealing with all aspects of the industry and are competing with industry veterans, and also collaborating with them. Kimberly Lacher, who is 38 years old, and her business partner Wood Brookshire, who is 31, run Vendera Resources. Their first fund began with a few hundred thousand dollars and grown into a $4 million fund. The company has invested $50 million in 1,200 wells.

T. Boone Pickens, an 85 year old oilman and billionaire, said: “I’ve never seen an industry do what the oil and gas industry has done in the last 10 years. Ten years ago I could not have made this statement that you have picked the right career [in the oil and gas industry].” The Dallas chapter of Young Professionals in Energy has seen membership shoot up 60% since 2009, primarily due to new members under age 37. It now has about 4,000 members. Nathen McEown, a 33 year old accountant at Whitley Penn LLP in Dallas, said: “These guys are going to be the poster children of self-made oil and gas tycoons.”

The energy industry needs new ideas and fresh faces to keep innovating and growing, and the fact that a younger generation of well-educated professionals, with many opportunities in many different industries, are choosing the oil and gas industry for their careers is going to bring benefits for decades to come.

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August 29, 2014

New Texas Permian Basin Pipeline

Another new oil pipeline is being laid in the Delaware Basin in Texas, which is part of the greater Permian Basin in west Texas. According to Benjamin Shattuck, an analyst with energy research firm Wood Mackenzie, “(t)he Permian is one of the most exciting areas in the lower 48 states right now.”

Western Refining Inc. has announced plans to build 40 miles of pipeline for light crude oil and condensate from the region. Western Refining is a refining and marketing company with headquarters in El Paso, Texas. Western has refineries in El Paso and in Gallup, New Mexico with a combined capacity of 153,000 barrels per day. These refineries primarily process sweet crude oil and are in a good position to buy crude at a discount from Delaware Basin producers.

The new 40 mile pipeline in the Delaware Basin will connect with the Mason Station crude oil facility in Reeves County, Texas owned by a sister company, Western Refining Logistics LP with a new facility at Wink Station in Winkler County, Texas. From Wink Station, the crude oil and condensate will be sent through other currently existing pipelines for delivery to the market. Mason Station was built last year as part of Western Refining’s expansion plans and was the first phase of its Delaware Basin Crude Oil Gathering System.

This new section of the pipeline will deliver up to 125,000 barrels of liquids with a greater than 45 degree gravity each day, and service is expected to start around June 2015. Western hopes to increase the capacity of its $60 million Delaware crude oil system and capitalize on the rapid growth of the area’s oil production. It plans to do this by expanding oil delivery capacities through the new pipeline, while using the company’s existing locational advantage and infrastructure. No cost for the 40 mile pipeline project has been disclosed so far.

The President and CEO of Western Refining, Jeff Stevens, said that "(g)iven the growth of light crude oil and condensate production in the Delaware Basin, we believe there is an opportunity to continue to expand and enhance our logistics capabilities. Our unique location and existing infrastructure present us with a number of opportunities to maximize our capabilities to deliver shale crude oil to both our refineries and third parties."

New pipeline plans mean that new pipeline easements will be requested from landowners along the route of the new pipeline. Remember that pipeline easements are complex documents, and they will probably be in force for the rest of your lifetime. Be sure to consult an attorney that is familiar with pipeline easements so that any easement you sign has proper protections for your property and that you are getting the most compensation possible in your area.

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