Van Buren County Land Owner Loses Challenge to Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission’s Integration Process

The Supreme Court of Arkansas upheld Arkansas’ oil and gas integration process in the opinion of Gawenis v. Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission, 2015 Ark. 238.  Gawenis, a Van Buren County landowner, challenged the integration procedure as an unconstitutional taking of property.  The Supreme Court issued a 12 page opinion with a lengthy explanation of oil and gas unit integration in Arkansas.  It is a very good introduction to the subject for anyone who does not know the background of oil and gas unit integrations in Arkansas.  After explaining the process, the court reasoned that because the Van Buren County landowner had various options that did not require a transfer of the title to his oil and gas rights, the Arkansas oil and gas integration was not a “taking” of property so as to trigger the Constitutional requirement for a trial by jury.  This was the opinion of nearly all Arkansas oil and gas attorneys prior to this challenge.

The case drew a lone dissenter in Justice Joseph Linker Hart who reasoned that the use of fracking may cause special damages which triggers the Constitution of the State of Arkansas’s requirement for a jury trial to ascertain the amount of damages.

Law Offices of Mark Robinette accepts oil and gas litigation, title curative, royalty dispute, and integration cases in all Fayetteville Shale counties in Arkansas including Faulkner County Arkansas, Van Buren County Arkansas, Conway County Arkansas, Cleburne County Arkansas, and White County Arkansas.  Call today at 501-251-1076, or click one of the action buttons in the right frame where you may schedule a call, video conference, or receive answers to your legal questions.