The Duhig Rule—Interpretation of Mineral Interest Reservations

, The Legal Intelligencer

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What happens when a deed is unclear and the parties to a transaction involving oil and gas interests are long deceased? How do the heirs to the parties involved resolve their disputes? This is a relevant issue courts and practitioners in Pennsylvania have faced for a long time. A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, Shedden v. Anadarko E&P, No. 103 MAP 2014, A.3d (Pa. 2016), applied the doctrine of estoppel by deed to an oil and gas lease, precluding the lessors from denying that the lease at issue covered the lessors' after-acquired interest in the oil and gas rights. Estoppel by deed may be further extended to resolve these thorny disputes.

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