TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

SUBTITLE B. SURVEYS AND SURVEYORS

CHAPTER 52. OIL AND GAS

SUBCHAPTER C. DEVELOPMENT OF RIVERBEDS AND CHANNELS



§ 52.071. AUTHORITY OVER RIVERBEDS AND CHANNELS.
     The riverbeds and channels belonging to the state are subject to development by the state and to lease or contract for recovery of oil and gas.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2450, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.072. STATE POLICY.
     (a) With regard to leases and contracts for the development of riverbeds and channels, it is the policy of the state that activities of the state and all lessees and contracting parties or their heirs, successors, or assigns under a lease or contract shall comply with laws of the state and rules and orders of any state agency that are applicable to development of oil and gas bearing land in the state by persons other than the state.
     (b) Each lease and contract issued under the provisions of this subchapter is subject to the provisions of Subsection (a) of this section.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2450, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.073. AREA SUBJECT TO LEASE.
     Riverbeds and channels that belong to the state may be leased to any person by the board under the provisions of this subchapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2450, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.074. SIZE OF TRACT.
     Subject to the conditions in this subchapter, riverbeds and channels shall be leased in tracts of the size determined by the board.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2450, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.076. DUTY TO ADVERTISE.
     (a) The board may:
          (1) advertise for bids to lease riverbeds and channels for oil and gas development;
          (2) advertise for bids to contract to develop the oil or gas under riverbeds and channels on consideration involving compensation with oil and gas or money so that the state will receive a portion of the oil and gas as it is produced or advanced royalties paid in money;
          (3) advertise for bids to purchase oil and gas in place under riverbeds and channels without requiring mineral development; and
          (4) pool or bring an action to force pool unleased riverbeds and channels.
     (b) The board shall advertise that the board will receive bids and award the right to lease, develop, or purchase under this section in the same manner as provided in Subchapter D, Chapter 32, of this code and Subchapter B of this chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2450, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 923, § 16, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 897, § 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 52.077. SPECIAL FEE.
     Each bidder on a lease under this subchapter shall remit with each bid by separate payment a special sale fee in the amount and in the manner provided by Section 32.110 of this code.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 897, § 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 52.080. FORMS FOR LEASE AND CONTRACT.
     Leases and contracts for the development of riverbeds and channels shall be executed on forms approved by the board.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2451, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 923, § 17, eff. Aug. 26, 1985.

§ 52.082. TERM OF LEASE.
     A lease granted under this subchapter shall be for a primary term not to exceed 10 years and for as long after that time as oil or gas is produced from the leased area.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2451, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5248, ch. 965, § 10, eff. June 19, 1983; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 897, § 28, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 52.083. CONDITIONS OF LEASE.
     Oil and gas shall only be leased together and separately from other minerals.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2451, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.084. SPECIAL LEASE PROVISIONS.
     Each lease shall include the provisions required by Sections 52.023 and 52.024 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2451, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.085. PREVENTION OF POLLUTION.
     (a) Each lease and contract shall require the lessee or contracting party or his successors or assigns to use the highest degree of care and all proper safeguards to prevent pollution of streams.
     (b) If the lessee or contracting party fails to meet the requirements in Subsection (a) of this section, the state is entitled to take charge of the property immediately and to cancel the lease.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2451, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.087. DETERMINATION OF LEASE PRICE AND DELAY RENTALS.
     The board shall determine the price at which riverbeds
      and channels shall be leased and the amount of delay rentals that shall be charged.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2452, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.088. ROYALTY RATE.
     The board shall set the royalty rate on production of oil and gas from riverbeds and channels leased under this subchapter. The royalty rate set must be at least one-eighth of the gross production or the market value of the oil and gas produced.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2452, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 897, § 29, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 52.090. EXTENSION OF LEASE.
     A lease may be extended in the manner provided in Section 52.031 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2453, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.091. REFUND OF LEASE MONEY IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS.
     A lessee under this subchapter is entitled to a refund of all money paid for bonus, delay rentals, and other fees for the reasons and in the manner provided in Section 52.030 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2453, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.092. POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN.
     The board or any person including a leaseholder or assignee, who has a contract with the board for the development of oil and gas resources in riverbeds and channels may exercise the power of eminent domain to condemn land as provided in the general laws of this state for the purposes stated in Section 52.093 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2453, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.093. EMINENT DOMAIN PURPOSES.
     The board and any person, including a leaseholder or assignee, who has a contract with the board for the development of oil and gas resources in riverbeds and channels may exercise the power of eminent domain for the following purposes:
          (1) to secure additional adjoining land that may be necessary to erect power machinery and to construct storage tanks and slush pits for the operation of the river or channel development and to prevent or lessen the dangers of pollution involved in the drilling of any well in the riverbed or channel; and
          (2) to secure a right-of-way to and from any well that is drilled in the riverbed or channel so that the board or any of the leaseholders or contracting parties may go to and from the well and may transport any materials necessary to develop the riverbed or channel and to transport oil and gas away from the well.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2453, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.094. DRILLING OFFSET WELL ON CONDEMNED LAND.
     (a) If the landowner or other interested party and the board or the lessee of the riverbed or channel cannot agree on the amount of damages, if any, and it is necessary to commence condemnation proceedings and if it is necessary for the landowner or other interested party to drill an offset well within the area to be condemned, the mineral rights of the condemned party are superior to the surface rights of the condemning party.
     (b) If there is any conflict surrounding the drilling of an offset well under a permit from the Railroad Commission of Texas, the condemning party is required to move any interference or hindrance or to go around any offset well, and if he fails or refuses to immediately move the interference or hindrance on demand, the owner of the mineral rights is entitled to do so immediately without liability.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2453, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.095. RIGHTS OF PARTIES TO CONDEMNATION.
     It is the intent of this subchapter that the mineral rights of the owner are superior to the surface rights of the condemning party.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2454, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.096. EXCLUSION FROM DAMAGES IN CONDEMNATION.
     In determining the damages resulting from condemnation, the commissioners or any other tribunal shall not consider the value of oil or gas located beneath the rights-of-way of the condemned property.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2454, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.097. INJUNCTION.
     (a) No injunction may be granted against the board, its agents, or persons with whom it has contracted, to restrain the board from enforcing its orders or contracts or from carrying out any development that has begun or was contemplated by the board until notice is given to the board and its agents or the contracting parties and a hearing is held.
     (b) Before an injunction or restraining order is issued or becomes effective, the court shall require the complaining party to execute a bond payable to the governor with good and sufficient sureties authorized to do business in this state in an amount determined by the court to be sufficient to protect the state from loss from drainage of the riverbed or channel, of lease or bonus or consideration, or from any other reason. In determining the amount of the bond, the court shall consider the probable and possible loss to the state by granting the injunction.
     (c) The attorney general shall bring suit on the bond to recover any loss to the state caused by the suit for injunction.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2454, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.098. APPEAL.
     (a) Either party to the suit for an injunction or restraining order is entitled to appeal from the final judgment.
     (b) The appeal shall be returnable to the appellate court at once and shall have precedence in that court over all pending cases, proceedings, and causes of a different character.
     (c) The court of appeals shall decide the questions involved in the appeal at as early a date as possible.
     (d) If any question is certified to the supreme court or if writ of error is requested or granted, the supreme court shall set the cause for hearing immediately, and the cause shall have precedence over all other cases, proceedings, and causes of a different character. The supreme court shall decide the cause at as early a date as possible.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2454, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 799, ch. 291, § 90, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.

§ 52.099. VENUE.
     The venue for any suit arising from this subchapter either by or against the board and regardless of the kind or nature shall be in Travis County.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2454, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 52.100. EFFECT OF SUBCHAPTER.
     The provisions of this subchapter do not repeal or supersede Chapter 138, Acts of the 41st Legislature, Regular Session, 1929 (Article 5414a, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), which validated, relinquished, quitclaimed, and granted to patentees and awardees and their assignees land and minerals that are included in surveys lying across or partly across watercourses and navigable streams in the state and that have been patented or awarded as provided in that chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2454, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.