Annual Institute on Mineral Law


The mineral lease is quite possibly the most frequently used contract in any mineral producing jurisdiction. There are innumerable forms currently in use including both standard and custom drafted lease forms. Within the myriad of lease forms certain "standard clauses" have emerged, such as the habendem clause, royalty clause, Pugh clause, and Mother Hubbard clause, but even these standard clauses vary widely. No specific meaning may be given to any clause without an examination of its particular terms and provisions. And, as with any contract, careful drafting is necessary in light of the issues that have been raised by the jurisprudence addressing the clauses. It would takes weeks of time and hundreds of pages to give even the most cursory treatment to every standard clause contained in ary of the many standard lease forms. This paper will not endeavor to provide the reader with exhaustive treatment of each provision of the mineral lease but, instead, will address selected issues arising under the habendum clause, the shut-in royalty clause, the Pugh clause, the Mother Hubbard clause, and the adjacent land clause by examining Louisiana case law where our courts have addressed issues arising thereunder and examining case law in other states where Louisiana courts have yet to address an important issue.