Annual Institute on Mineral Law


and in title examination upon which the public records doctrine and the "new recording act"' have a bearing. Although most of these issues have existed as potential problems for many years, the extraordinary value of the Haynesville Shale play which has been taking place in Northwest Louisiana recently has caused these and other issues to be disputed more frequently, and at greater stakes. The Haynesville Shale play has given new meaning to the term "other valuable consideration," with consideration being paid to lessors and assignors/sublessors at rates not previously seen in this area of the country. Landowners in this area have become more litigious than has historically been the case, as some eagerly seek a means to challenge a lease which was executed at a "pre-Haynesville Shale" price. Leasing has become more competitive than has been experienced in quite some time. Often, third parties may acquire an interest in a lease with no idea that a challenge to the title may loom on the horizon. This paper will focus on certain issues which are common problem areas in the high-value leasing climate of the Haynesville Shale play, and relate to the public records doctrine and the new recording act.