Energy Law

Texas Mineral Title Course


Houston, Texas, USA

Past Event

13.5 hours of MCLE Credit available

JW Marriott Houston Hotel
5150 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77056

Registrar: +1.972.244.3405
IEL: +1.972.244.3424
Fax: +1.972.244.3401


The Texas Mineral Title Course is designed for lawyers, landmen and other oil and gas professionals who either are in the business of giving title opinions, or who need to understand Texas land title and oil and gas pooling, spacing and other regulations. The course is presented by a series of acknowledged experts in their fields, and comprehensive written materials are included for delegates’ future reference.


  • Designed for lawyers and landmen
  • Exceptionally experienced and expert faculty
  • Titles to minerals and real property law
  • Conveyancing
  • Formatting the opinion
  • Oil and gas law, regulatory and production issues

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.

Conference Co-Chairs

George A. Snell
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
Houston, Texas

Kerry A. Kilburn
Kilburn Law Firm, PLLC
Houston, Texas


Registration includes the Conference, course materials on USB and online, continental breakfast, two luncheons and the networking reception.

  • $745 / $795 - Regular registration fee 
  • $535 / $575 - IEL Advisory Board Member
  • $535 / $575 - IEL Supporting or Sustaining Member Employee
  • $535 / $575 - CAIL Member or Member Employee
  • $535 / $575 - Government Employee
  • $125 / $125 - Law Student
  • $225 - Materials Only

Schedule and Faculty

Thursday, May 2

7:30 am


8:30 am

Welcome, Overview and Introductions

  • Kerry A. Kilburn, Kilburn Law Firm, PLLC, Houston, Texas
  • George A. Snell, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Houston, Texas


8:35 am

The Nature of the Mineral Estate

Professor Kramer will discuss the qualities of the fi ve components of a mineral interest, and explore the distinguishing factors for title opinion purposes among royalty, non-participating royalty interest, working interest and net revenue interest. He will cover title issues presented by the severance of minerals from the surface ownership, the ownership of fugacious minerals in place, and the nature of an oil and gas lease as a fee simple determinative.

Bruce M. Kramer, Professor Emeritus, Texas Tech Law School and Of Counsel, McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, L.L.P., Houston, Texas

9:20 am

Where Title Begins - Patents and the Relinquishment Act

You may have wondered, but never really understood, how title to Texas lands has evolved over the 168 years of the state’s existence. This presentation will begin with the birthing of title out of the Sovereign, in this case, the State of Texas, and will continue with discussions concerning Patents, University Land Grants, Public School Lands, Railroad Land Grants, and State Owned Mineral Lands (Relinquishment Act). We will also give a shout out to little known grants for: the improvement of rivers and bayous, construction of roads and canals, construction of the State Capitol, drilling of artesian wells, and the benefi t of Texas counties.

Mark K. Leaverton, Rash Chapman Screiber Leaverton & Morrison, L.L.P., Austin, Texas

10:00 am



10:15 am

Homestead and Probate Law

What is a homestead? Our speaker will discuss establishing a homestead, the possessors of a homestead, the eff ect of marriage, reservation of a homestead, mineral interest in a homestead, and how a homestead is terminated. Important aspects of probate for title will also be examined, including testate succession, intestate succession, trusts, probate options, muniments of title, affi davits of heirship, and the recording of foreign wills.

Jonathan Baughman, McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, LLP, Houston, Texas

11:00 am

Adverse Possession, After-Acquired Title, and the Rule Against Perpetuities

This presentation will identify certain title problems associated with rights of parties in possession and will specifi cally focus on the application of statutes and case law to matters associated with Adverse Possession, After Acquired Title and the Rule against Perpetuities in examining title.

Scott C. Petry and Susan Stanton, Zukowski, Bresenham, Sinex & Petry, L.L.P, Houston Texas

11:45 am

Surface Access and Use: Stop, Look and Listen Your Way to the Drill Site

This session will consider impediments to surface access and use and how to overcome them, as well as the use and impact of easements, licenses, consents, roads, rivers and other stumbling blocks.

Ernest V. Bruchez, Bruchez, Goss, Thornton, Meronoff & Hawthorne, P.C., Bryan, Texas

12:30 pm

Luncheon Address


Allen D. Cummings, Cummings Law Firm, San Antonio, Texas

1:30 pm



2:00 pm

Avoid Voidance - Get the Legal Description Right the First Time

Texas courts void conveyances for insuffi cient legal descriptions. This presentation will acknowledge the shipwrecks and explain how to draft your descriptions to achieve your purpose.

Roderick E. Wetsel, Wetsel and Carmichael LLP, Sweetwater, Texas

2:45 pm

Deeds and Assignments

This presentation will focus on the rules a title examiner must follow in interpreting mineral and oil and gas leasehold conveyances encountered during his or her examination. It will highlight frequently-encountered construction diffi culties, including those arising from land descriptions, conveyances of fractional mineral and royalty interests, and the various ways in which leasehold interests may be described and conveyed.

William B. Burford, Hinkle, Hensley, Shanor & Martin L.L.P., Midland, Texas

3:30 pm


3:45 pm

Estoppel by Deed; Estoppel by Duhig - The Indicators and Consequences of Estoppel in Land Titles

The why, what, who, how and when of estoppel in land titles. Analysis of the indicators and eff ects of estoppel; who benefi ts from estoppel in the chain of title; and whether the title examiner can presume estoppel and its consequences.

Terry I. Cross, McClure & Cross LLP, Dallas, Texas

4:30 pm

Title Aspects of the Joint Operating Agreement

A review of the property provisions found in the Operating Agreement and how they may impact title to the lease: a discourse on non-consent and default transfers, lien provisions, restrictions on transfers and partitions, preferential rights, AMIs, lease renewal requirements, and various legal principles that apply.

H. Martin Gibson, SNR Denton, Dallas, Texas

5:15 pm


5:15 pm

Networking Reception

Friday, May 3

8:00 am



8:05 am

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

The preparation of a runsheet is as much art as science. We will take a look at what the landman should do to prepare your runsheet, what he is, or isn’t, doing, and how you can obtain a better work product.

Curtis D. Horne, Vice President, Business Development - Energy, Percheron LLC, Houston, Texas


8:45 am

Oil and Gas Leases and Top Leases

This presentation will focus on the beginning of the oil and gas lease, the operations, cessation and production clauses, top leasing, lease termination and other selected provisions.

Peter E. Hosey, Jackson Walker L.L.P., San Antonio, Texas

9:30 am

Irregular Owners - Unleased, Nonparticipating, Unpooled or Uncertain Owners and how to Manage the Issues

This presentation will address minimizing risk at the leasing stage. Why do you need every owner under lease, how do you measure the risk when you cannot get them all, how can you plan to reduce the risk, and what are the practical and legal solutions, if the risk is still too great?

Richard F. Brown, Brown & Fortunato P.C., Amarillo, Texas

10:15 am



10:30 am

Land and Regulatory Issues related to Horizontal Wells

How to avoid title disaster from confusing the different kinds of “units” in Texas, a discussion of regulatory, trespass, pooling and retained acreage issues raised by horizontal wells, and potential solutions to the problems landmen and title lawyers confront from horizontal drilling.

H. Philip (Flip) Whitworth, Scott Douglass & McConnico, L.L.P., Austin, Texas

11:15 am

Pooling Issues for the Title Examiner

Who has the right to pool?

  • Unleased mineral interests
  • NPRI’s & NEMI’s: What are they and why they are important

The size of the pooled unit

  • Does size matter?
  • How large a pooled unit can the lessee establish?
  • Can a pooled unit once established be enlarged?
  • Can a pooled unit once established be reduced in size?

The effects of improper pooling.

Charlotte M. Meyer, Kilburn Law Firm, Houston, Texas

12:00 pm

Netowrking Luncheon


1:00 pm

Is There Ever a Good Reason not to Record Promptly?

An explanation of how the Texas “notice” system of recording works, in the context of comparing it to other states.

George A. Snell, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Houston, Texas

1:45 pm

Calculation and Payment of Royalties - Unleased Mineral Owners and Non-Ratified Royalty Owners

This presentation will include the proper calculation and payment of royalties for lease wells, and standard and horizontal pooled unit wells where there are unleased mineral owners and/or non-ratifi ed royalty owners. It will also cover the applicability of the Texas Division Order
Statute to the correct payment of royalties and how receivership leases can impact royalty payments.

Terry Hogwood, Houston, Texas

2:30 pm

The Ethical Obligations of Lawyers and Landmen: Are they Different?

What does a landman do? How does land work differ from law practice? Our speaker will explore these questions and discuss the ethical obligations of the landman and those of the lawyer. He will discuss the relationship between the lawyer and the landman, covering the giving of legal, as opposed to business, advice, the lawyer dealing with surface issues, and the lawyer dealing with title questions.

Paul G. Yale, Looper Reed & McGraw P.C., Houston, Texas

3:30 pm


CLE Credits

MCLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for 13.5 hours, including 1 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 901263110. Sign-in sheets and/or certificates of attendance will be available for ALL states.

Specialization Credit

This program is approved by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for 13.5 hours in the following areas: Oil, Gas and Mineral Law

AAPL Credit

AAPL credit will be available.

Hotel Information

The JW Marriot Hotel is sold out.

Available Hotels nearby:

Other Information

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