Legal fight launched over mineral rights of land under canal

Kelly Holleran Jun. 25, 2011, 11:27am

The owner of an oil and gas lease alleges others stole gas from the land and refuse to hand over their profits.

Red Boot Production Co. filed a lawsuit June 20 in Jefferson County District Court against Samson Lone Star, St. Mary Land and Exploration Co., Louis M. Broussard, William Arthur Roane, William Arthur Roane Jr., Joe Broussard II, Martin Eloi Broussard, Loretta B. Casey Mineral Trust, James C. Broussard, Louis M. Broussard Jr., Roland Polk, Broussard Heirs Mineral Agency Agreement, Mixson Land Co., Ann Harder, Ray Edward Harder Jr. and Edna Harder Bogucki.

In its complaint, Red Boot claims it acquired oil and gas leases on 38 acres of land in Jefferson County. A Beaumont Irrigation Co. canal is located on the land. Red Boot gained mineral rights to the land underneath the canal, according to its complaint.

Red Boot's oil and gas leases lay on land where another group, the Samson Lone Star Paggi Broussard Unit, also owns mineral interests, the suit states. However, the Samson Lone Star Paggi Broussard Unit does not own an interest to the mineral rights under the canal, the complaint says.

Despite having no right to drill under the canal, Red Boot alleges Samson Lone Star Paggi Broussard Unit operates two wells near the canal that they have used to obtain gas and gas condensate found underneath the canal, according to the complaint.

"The surface location of for the Paggi Broussard Unit No. 1 well is on the Paggi oil and gas leases, i.e. the surface owned by the Harder Defendants, but the well bore deviates and crosses into the Red Boot oil and gas leases so that the bottom hole location is on the Red Boot oil and gas leases," the suit states. "Samson and St. Mary have been aware of this trespass because they have performed a directional bottom hole survey that locates the bottom hole of the Paggi Broussard Unit No. 1 well within the boundaries of the Beaumont Irrigation Company canal."

Red Boot claims it has sole right to the minerals under the canal and that the defendants had no right to trespass on its land to obtain gas.

In its complaint, Red Boot seeks a sum of money equal to the gross production and proceeds from the two wells for the four years that the alleged trespass occurred. In the alternative, it wants the court to order the defendants to pay Red Boot the highest sales price for gas and gas condensate obtained from the wells. In a third alternative, Red Boot seeks royalties paid to the Broussard defendants and the Paggi defendants for the gas produced from the two wells.

Finally, Red Boot wants the court to quiet its title in the oil, gas and other minerals within the boundaries of the canal.

Michael D. Jones of Jones Gill in Houston will be representing it.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E190-319

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