‘Hart Energy’ Quotes Reagan Marble on Lithium Extraction in Texas

December 18, 2023 | Mentions

With energy companies in northeast Texas showing interest in pursuing lithium, Jackson Walker partner Reagan Marble shared insight with Hart Energy about the legal questions surrounding lithium ownership.

“In Texas, we don’t have a clear answer to who owns lithium,” he noted. “We do know that brine is a part of the surface estate and, more particularly, the groundwater in the state is owned by the surface owner.”

Therefore, companies interested in entering lithium extraction in Texas are unsure whether they should pursue leases from surface owners or mineral owners.

“I don’t think we are going to see quite the land grab that Texas could be experiencing at the moment until we have a legislative solution to who owns the lithium,” Reagan said. “There’s not a ton of case law in Texas on how you look at the ordinary and natural meaning of the term mineral. And quite frankly, until there is a legislative solution, there surely won’t be a legal solution in court interpreting whether lithium is in the ordinary natural meaning of the word mineral or falls under the surface destruction test.”

To read more, view Hart Energy article “The Great Lithium Rush: Oil and Gas Companies Turn Prospectors” (subscription required). Also, check out The Land Department Podcast episode “The Role of Lithium in America’s Energy Transition” featuring Reagan discussing this topic.

Reagan MarbleMeet Reagan

Reagan represents large land and mineral owners, high net worth families, and investors in complex conventional and renewable energy litigation and transactions throughout Texas and New Mexico. His extensive experience in the field ranges from achieving summary dismissal of multimillion-dollar title disputes in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin to favorably resolving renewable energy contract disputes along the Gulf Coast. Reagan serves on the boards of the Young Professionals in Energy – San Antonio and the Landman and Lawyers Clays Shoot. He is also a past-board member of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) and remains active in his family’s multigenerational cattle business.

In This Story

Reagan M. Marble
Partner, San Antonio