Resolving Intra-Reservoir Horizontal Drilling Conflicts Using a Reservoir Community Analysis

18 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2015

See all articles by David E. Pierce

David E. Pierce

Washburn University School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

When an owner’s activities within an oil and gas reservoir physically invade the portion of the reservoir owned by its neighbors, the immediate response is “trespass.” The trespass response is based upon the extension of surface property lines to define rights to subsurface geologic structures. The basic flaw with this analysis is that the oil and gas reservoir is an interconnected geologic system that cannot be divided into segregated parts. Instead, each owner has collective as well as individual rights in the reservoir. This article identifies the collective rights of reservoir owners and the reservoir community analysis used to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate use of the reservoir. These rights, and the reservoir community analysis, will be illustrated by applying them to cross-boundary intra-reservoir issues associated with hydraulic fracturing. The first are frac fissures that invade neighboring portions of the reservoir. The second are frac pressures that invade neighboring portions of the reservoir and sometimes disrupt existing production operations.

Suggested Citation

Pierce, David E., Resolving Intra-Reservoir Horizontal Drilling Conflicts Using a Reservoir Community Analysis (2014). North Dakota Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 2, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2639875

David E. Pierce (Contact Author)

Washburn University School of Law ( email )

1700 College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
United States

HOME PAGE: http://washburnlaw.edu/faculty/pierce-david.php

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