Named for a town in Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale is a hydrocarbon producing formation that is receiving significant attention due to its oil and gas production. Producing more oil and gas than traditional shale plays, it contains a much higher carbonate shale percentage, up to 70% in south Texas. The boom in shale formations like this one has been described as the largest discovery of new oil reserves since 1968, and the scale and speed of development has exceeded all previous estimations regarding economic impact. This boom has accounted for not only an increase in known oil reserves, but also an increase in litigation, as players in the industry fight over the rights surrounding these shale formations.
The drilling for oil and gas reserves brings up a multitude of issues for not only the industries performing the removal, but also for those affected by their actions. As many reserves are discovered over family-owned land, the lease of such land for removal of gas, the noise and industry production surrounding the removal, and the effect on the neighboring residents all play a factor in the litigious nature of fossil fuels. Companies must constantly be concerned with contamination, noise, odors, as well as any standing surface lease agreements. The Government itself may even lay claim to land rightfully owned by a private citizen.
With the growth expected to continue and no known end in sight, land owners and industries alike must be aware of the rights and obligations with respect to property sitting on top of known reserves. Contacting an oil and gas attorney to assist with your Eagle Ford Shale litigation questions will allow you to stay protected, and educated, when dealing with any issues.