Annual Institute on Mineral Law


The purpose of this paper is not to provide an exhaustive discussion of the details of any one state's legal landscape as it relates to the sometimes heated and always changing relationship between surface estate owners and mineral owners. Rather, the purpose of this paper is to set the stage for a meaningful exchange of information, ideas, and strategy regarding what the current landscape around Louisiana's borders looks like and why those that live, work, and, probably most importantly for our purposes, operate in the state should care about what their neighbors are doing on these issues. In sum, what, if anything, can Louisiana learn from its neighbors' struggles with the same issues? To serve those stated purposes, this article, after providing a brief background for context, examines how Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have dealt with and are dealing with the accommodation of, or lack thereof, the :;urface estate by the mineral owners. Specifically, the article covers for each state the latest on (1) surface use disputes and (2) surface restoration issues and trends.