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Oil Gas Litigation

Kern County is home to the vast majority of California’s oil production as well as significant amounts of natural gas production and mineral wealth, and as conflicts arise, the Bakersfield law office of Lynch & Lynch is experienced in handling a wide range of oil and gas litigation and related matters.

The business of oil and gas production involves multiple transactions and legal issues, including the acquisition, ownership, and leasing of property; financing acquisition and production; and the actual development, production, transfer, and disposition of oil and gas and other minerals. Disputes can arise in any of these areas, sometimes requiring litigation to resolve matters such as title to land, ownership of mineral rights and royalty interests, surface use and conveyances.

The types of disputes that can occur in the business of oil and gas production are many and varied. Common disputes in the field of oil and gas often center on the following:

  • Royalty Payments
  • Lease Access
  • Surface Damage
  • Lease Termination
  • Operator Compliance with Lease Terms and Implied Lease Covenants
  • Lease Options
  • Acreage Selection Agreements
  • Pooling and Unitization Agreements
  • Nonpayment of Delay Rentals
  • Division Order Agreements Between Operator and Net Revenue Interest Owners
  • Title Disputes, including Easements and Pipelines and Suits to Quiet Title
  • Slander of Title
  • Seismic Shooting and Geophysical Trespass

A Wealth of Experience

The experience at Lynch & Lynch goes beyond litigating the sale of oil and gas leases and the basic issues of business contract law. Attorney Craig M. Lynch has handled breach of contract and declaratory relief actions involving areas of mutual interest (AMI) claims between oil and gas companies. In addition, he has obtained temporary restraining orders and injunctions to stop the sale of working interests in a gas field that constituted a fraudulent transfer that would have defrauded a creditor. Mr. Lynch has tried declaratory relief and breach of contract cases and handled appeals in matters concerning the oil and gas industry standard joint operating agreement (JOA) relating to the amount of overriding royalty interests (ORRI) due to the working interest participants and geologists. He has also tried cases regarding unfair competition and trade secrets regarding the use of seismic and geophysical information for use in the drilling of gas wells in the Sacramento Delta region.