St. Mary's Law Journal
Mineral and royalty deeds are notoriously difficult to interpret. Courts complicate the interpretive process in at least two ways. First, they produce opinions that fail to appreciate and explain unique oil and gas concepts. Second, they render deed records unreliable. A variety of title problems flow from this instability. However, a common trait is frequently encountered: the influence of the one-eighth royalty provision typically used for decades in oil and gas leases. Unfortunately, courts have failed to acknowledge this influence. For this reason, title litigation will continue to loom under the legacy of the one-eighth royalty, and title examiners will continue to be plagued by the title issues.
Laura H. Burney, Interpreting Mineral and Royalty Deeds: The Legacy of the One-Eighth Royalty and Other Stories, 33 St. Mary’s L.J. 1 (2001).