Seems there's concern being expressed in baseball over the choice of
"When an ash (or the rare player who still used hickory) bat breaks, it
loses a lot of the swing energy and breaks into 3-4 pieces. Yes, the
largest might travel, but it usually flies closer to the baseline the
batter is facing than it does to the pitcher.
The maple seems to break into two pieces, and shoot much closer to
straight up the middle, and with a larger piece of wood."
Fans injury should force bat policy change
(This is certainly my first ever baseball-related post, probably the
There is also a lawsuit against Little League Baseball and the maker of
metal bats. A pitcher was hit with a ball that was hit too hard. The force
stopped his heart and he suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen for a few
I guess all bats should be banned or they should have a safety cage around
Or equip the players so they look like "duh generation" bullriders in the
A nation of wusses?
On a similar note: I've gotten two, unrelated calls in the last few weeks
from friends in the business offering work. It seems that O&G lease
brokerage firms are searching for older landmen in their 50/60's, at top
dollar, because the current crop of college degreed, "certified landman"
simply aren't doing the job without the necessity for a lot of expensive
cleanup of their work prior to drilling.
Interesting. On a related note, my dad and his neighbor were approached
about drilling on their lands. They don't get royalties because they are on
a railroad section, but they are pushing to make sure that damage payments
are fair. Dad is also pushing that if a road is put in, it needs to be
paid for as a lease, not a one-time payment. We'll see how that goes.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Don't know how it is in your state, but in Texas the mineral estate is
dominant and a surface owner without minerals doesn't have much legal say
about what is done. Basically, a surface owner will almost never prevail in
keeping a mineral owner from enjoying the rights of ownership of the mineral
estate, even it his house is located smack dab in the middle of it, although
most companies will bend over backwards to remunerate/placate a surface
A good thing to go for if you can get it, and if they indeed do drill and
establish production on his land, or it is included in a producing unit,
there is a good chance he could get it here in Texas. The roads on a lease
here are always maintained by the production company until production ceases
and, in the rural past were usually a welcome addition on most tracts ...
although as absentee city ownership becomes prevalent (particularly those
owners from Northern states with different attitudes about land ownership
than your average old time Texan), and tracts become smaller, things are
Why does that matter? Drilling for oil is a private practice as far as
I know, its not a public domain application. Now if the drilling is in
the public domain section of the railway that would be another thing,
but I think that only extends 8 feet on either side. i find it hard to
believe they can put a pump that close to the railway
It's probable that they no longer teach American history in this country? :)
Most railroads in the US are private companies, and their tracks are located
on land owned by them in fee simple. Railroads were historically given huge
swaths of land on either side railways as an incentive to extend their reach
and open up our frontiers to settlement and commerce.
While the surface of a good part of that land has been sold to a third
parties down through the years, the minerals were most often reserved in
AAMOF, Union Pacific Railroad still remains one of the largest mineral
owners in the US, particularly out West where they own entire sections of
land that alternate on either side of the tracks, in a checkerboard manner,
for hundreds, if not thousands of miles (IIRC, across 23 states), and they
have an entire department that deals with nothing but the leasing of those
retained mineral rights. BTDT.
Many states awarded their own "land grants" to encourage railroads and the
economic benefits they brought to an area. The Texas and Pacific got
5,173,120 acres of _land grants_ from Texas between 1873 and 1881 to build
their railroad in Texas.
AAMOF, the Texas Pacific Land Trust is still the largest _private_ landowner
in the State of Texas and generates much income from its mineral rights
OK, makes sense--KS was in the US act. In fact, home town was "end of
the line" for nearly 30 years just couple of miles from Indian Territory
(OK) in the panhandle which is why the town is where it happens to
be...that was the old Rock Island, now part of the Union Pacific.
I had a large lease crew on the ground for almost two years back in the
early 80's in South Eastern Colorado (Lamar) and we bought beaucoup leases
from Union Pacific in that area. We used to go to KS on the weekends, to a
bush track to watch the quarter horses races and pass a good time. :)
The Interstate highway system sure put an end to many of these "railhead"
towns. There are still a number of "railroad hotels" in small towns in Texas
and may of them were being restored in this last period of prosperity.
There is one in particular in Corrigan, TX, on US59, that I pass often on
the way to SWMBO's home state (AR) that is neat to visit ... a completely
wooden structure with 10', wraparound porches and railings, straight out of
an old western movie. :)
Too bad so many of the regional differences in this country are disappearing
with the onslaught of the Wal*Mart's and chain restaurants.
That would have been Syracuse. Unfortunately, the track closed not long
after when that must have been.
The original hotel here burned in '06 or thereabouts; the replacement is
a grand (for the size of town then, certainly) about 1908 stucco
two-story structure. It's really quite a showplace itself having been
restored. Initially the intent was to turn the hotel area into downtown
apartments, but that didn't pan out so it's now office space on the
upper story but the old dining room and parlors hold restaurant space.
The old depot building is also restored and house local C of C offices,
a community gathering room, etc., and exhibits from early day Liberal.
At one time, my grandfather, who had a farm in TX indicated that there was
a limit to the amount of time that mineral rights could be separated from
the land ownership (20 years?). Do you know if that is the case, or just a
bit of verbal lore he picked up somewhere. His father was in the oil
business in South Texas before they moved to the Wichita Falls area in the
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Not in Texas ... the mineral estate is considered a "separate" estate" and
can be severed from the surface in perpetuity. It is also the "dominant"
estate in Texas, in that the surface owner can't prohibit the severed
mineral estate owner from exercising the enjoyment and rights of ownership
of his property.
This is one of the reasons that an independent landman can prosper in a
state like Texas. Buying Oil, Gas & Mineral leases from the rightful
owner(s) must be based on extensive, and expensive, title/deed record
search, which is particularly tough when much of the mineral estate has been
severed from the surface for many years (due to oil exploration/production
going back to the late 19th century), and then taking into account the
changes in ownership from land sales, deaths, wills, and intestate "descent
It is not unusual in some areas for it to be necessary to get signature on
one lease from literally hundreds of heirs on a tract the size of a town
lot, and it just gets worse with time.
That said, and what your grandfather may have been referencing ... there are
special circumstances on state owned lands that do indeed require
reversionary rights, one of them being a 20 year period, but that might have
changed in the courts since I was in the "bidness", some 22 years hence.
In my home state of Louisiana, basically based on Napoleonic Code, no
separate mineral estate can be created, and except when under
lease/production the mineral rights remain with the surface, at the
cessation of which they automatically revert to the current surface owner.
I'm not aware of any basic changes in those areas in these two states. Since
most landmen are generally conversant with both states out of necessity, the
differences can present interesting challenges.
For instance, Texas is a "dresser drawer deed" state, and Louisiana is a
"race to the courthouse" state. In Texas you do not absolutely need to
record a deed/lease/instrument to land to have a superior title; in
Louisiana, you better have your deed/lease/instrument recorded or someone
may beat you to the parish courthouse ... the latter can make for some wild
west scenarios when lease crews are competing, on the ground, to put
together drilling blocks in a hot area. :)
Umm, I don't think you understand here. "Railroad section" doesn't mean
railroad right-of-way. Back in the late 1800's, when the transcontinental
railroad was being built, in order to entice the railroads to build, the
government deeded every odd section (640 acres, or 1 square mile) plot to
the railroad for 20 miles on each side of the railroad. The Union Pacific
was the beneficiary of that land give-away (actually, it was a legitimate
deal for a risky business venture). In the ensuing years, the railroad
sold those sections, but retained the mineral rights. My Dad's place is a
1/2 section of one of those railway parcels. The mineral rights reside
with the railroad and they have the right to drill on that land, but must
make reasonable compensation for damages to the land where they drill. In
order to access the site they want to drill, they will have to make a road
through an additional part of Dad's place.
As a side note, the railroad used to provide 2% of the royalties to land
owners. Some stupid people took the railroads to court complaining that 2%
wasn't enough. Court ruled in the railroad's favor and the railroad
changed its policy to 0%. Great move on the part of the land-owners that.
OTOH, one could question if those mineral rights should reside apart from
the land ownership for more than 1 century, but that's a different
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
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