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Copyright Tulane University 1987.

Tulane Law Review

ARTICLE: LOUISIANA MINERAL SERVITUDES.

April, 1987

Tulane Law Review

61 Tul. L. Rev. 1097

Author

LUTHER L. McDOUGAL III *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Since the landmark decision in Frost-Johnson Lumber Co. v. Salling's Heirs, 1 it has been clear that Louisiana follows the nonownership theory of oil and gas and thus does not recognize a separate mineral estate in oil and gas. Any attempt to sell or reserve the ownership of oil and gas results in the creation of a mineral servitude. 2 The most important legal consequence of the mineral servitude classification is that, unlike a mineral estate, which can be created in perpetuity with no obligation on the owner to use his rights, a servitude is subject to prescription of nonuse for ten years. 3 Until the adoption of the Louisiana Mineral Code, the courts of Louisiana were forced, except for occasional, limited, statutory provisions, to adapt the provisions of the Louisiana Civil Code to resolve problems concerning mineral servitudes. Of course, mineral servitudes presented considerably different problems from the servitudes envisioned by the redactors of the Civil Code. Over time the Louisiana courts, through a pragmatic consideration of these differences, developed the doctrines applicable to mineral servitudes, which now can be viewed as a limited personal servitude. 4 Today, most of the doctrines applicable to this new and different servitude are codified in the Mineral Code. 5

Article 21 of the Mineral Code defines a mineral servitude as a right in land owned by another to explore for, produce, and reduce minerals to possession and ownership. This right, which is somewhat akin to ...
 
 
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