Texas Tribune has a lengthy report of Tuesday's arguments before the Texas Supreme Court on a southeast Texas case in which a landowner claims that wastewater from an injection well has trespassed into his property. It's not an oil-and-gas wastewater injection well, but the issue has the attention of the energy industry, which operates tens of thousands of similar wells around the state. Briefly, a rice farmer who opposed a 1997 permit for a Class 1 injection well for non-hazardous waste now charges that some of the 100 million-plus gallons injected 8,000 feet underground since then has migrated into a saltwater aquifer beneath his farm, amounting to trespassing. At trial, a jury found for the well owner, but a Beaumont appellate court reversed the decision and ruled in favor of the farmer. The case made its way in 2011 to the Texas Supreme Court, which returned it to the lower court, and now it's back again.
The state's high court has already, in 2008, rejected a claim that hydraulic fracturing from a nearby well could have trespassed and taken oil and gas from the mineral owners. For the full Tribune report, click here.
-- Jim Fuquay