The complex language in today’s oil and gas deeds can be challenging enough to understand. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a warranty deed drafted in 1950, which uses ambiguous terms to convey lucrative oil and gas interests, provoked a fierce fight over its interpretation that recently ended up before the Texas Supreme Court.

The case, Graham v. Prochaska, was started in Karnes County, Texas, in 2012 and focused on a number of deed interpretation issues. In the lawsuit, both groups of litigants were seeking a determination of the respective parties’ rights and obligations related to royalties for oil, gas and other minerals under a warranty deed dated Sept. 30, 1950, that conveyed certain property rights to land located in Karnes County.

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