Monthly Archives: October 2014

Texas Oil and Gas BY THE NUMBERS

40% of all U. S. oil and gas jobs or 411,600 workers are in oil and gas jobs and 4.4% of Texas jobs in this industry.  Every one of Texas’ 36 congressional districts, 150 House districts and 31 Senate districts include counties where people are employed in the oil and gas industry or 95% of Texas counties are producers.  The Rainy Day Fund is almost entirely supported by this industry, which helps support public education, water and road infrastructure projects and disaster recovery, etc.  The State of Texas is the TOP PRODUCER OF OIL & GAS IN THE NATION.  In Texas there are currently 2.5 million royalty owners in the state.

GRIDLOCKED – Tackling Texas Transportation Troubles

Supply and demand impacts all of us on the highways, whether in the country and in the cities.  Fuel costs have tripled, but the gas tax at $1.10 per gallon has STAYED THE SAME since 1991.  Because of inflation we have less & less money available to pay for roads and bridges.  Funding for new roads has not kept pace with the population growth, so we have gridlocks & grows worse each year.  Commuter trains help a bit as does carpooling and telework.   It will take a combination of these + new construction to work out way out of this dilemna according to  Ginger Goodin,  senior research engineer at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute at College Station, TX.


QRM Rule Opens More Doors for Consumers

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the 1st of 6 financial regulators to release the final verson of the long-awaited qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule, which stems from the 2010 financial crisis.  The QM rule provides ability-to-repay standards for sale and affordable loans, whether or not they are securitized for sale to investors.  The QRM and QM rules are now aligned, such as the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is 43% and no onerous down payment requirement.  The QRM rule takes affect in 12 months, but lenders have been already lining up with the QR code.  All this can be a widening and deepening of loan availability, which has been the main stumbling block to increased home.  NAR chief economist  Lawrence Yun said the alignment of the 2 rules could help make credit more available and boost sales.


PRICE INCREASE ON HOMES IN NE TEXAS, but wages are the same, so ……..

AFFORDABILITY FOR HOUSING IS AN ISSUE.  Prices in Tyler, East Texas & Northeast Texas have increased.  Medium priced prices in Tyler & area about $165,000 & in Dallas area under $200,000.  With wages flat, folks cannot buy as much home, although INTEREST RATES HAVE REMAINED LOW, which is a help.  All this according to Dr. Jim Gaines of the TX A&M Real Estate Center.  Mid-priced homes are roughly 50% higher than in the worst of the recession in early 2010.  If you want to buy now is the TIME!  Just call Bain Real Estate at 903-571-2191.  Go to our website at and click on SOLDS to get current data.




from 1997 to 2012 about 590,000 acres was lost from the agricultural land base in the 25 highest rate counties.  This information was developed by the Texas Agricultural Land Trust & check their website TEXAS LAND TRENDS to get more details.  The institute says the goal is to provide public & private decision-makers with information needed to plan for the conservation of Texas farms, ranches & forests.  This according to Todd Snelgrove, associate director of the institute.  WORTHY TO NOTE CONSERVATION IN EAST TEXAS, which has the rain, forests and fields.



Texas had a net loss of nearly 1.1 million acres of privately owned farms, ranches and forests from 1997 to 2012, continuing the trend of rural land conversion and fragmentation in Texas.  Privately owned farms, ranches and forests account for 83% of the land in Texas and are increasingly threatened by suburbanization, rural development & land fragmentation driven by rapid population growth.  54% of the land conversion was related to development associated with population expansion in the state’s 25 highest growth rate counties.  CONTINUED IN NEXT BLOG

WHOSE WATER IS IT ANYWAY? – part 4 & final one

(4) PERCOLATING GROUNDWATER – finish – rule of capture for water as for oil & gas.  Permits drainage from underneath a neighbor’s property (& vice versa) as long as it occurs from a legal location.  Water depends on a groundwater district & this district dictates distances from property lines.  If no district then that not required.  Texas law imposes damages if drainage causes wastes, injures a neighbor or causes subsidence.  (5)  WATER IN UNDERGROUND STREAMS & LAKES – belongs to state.  The presumption of percolating groundwater has not been overcome.  Below level water belongs to owners, BUT groundwater district has right to space & limit wells.   Finally water is a valuable commodity in Texas and ownership is prominent in real estate transactions and on a land sale water CAN BE CONVEYED OR RESERVED.



continuing WATERCOURSES – if a stream is not  navigable, the state still owns the water, but minerals below belong to the owner.  A stream may be navigable-in-law or navigable-in-fact.  Navigable-in-law is at least 30 ft in width, but no water needs to flow.  Navigable-in-fact  is less than 30 ft across, but can be used as a highway for commerce in usual modes.  (4)  PERCOLATING GROUNDWATER – usually underground water oozing, seeping or filtering through the soil with no definite course.  Used by ranchers & farmers.  In a sale of land water rights have to be mentioned as a mineral or stay with present owner.  The rule of capture governs the production of percolating groundwater just as it does oil and gas.  PART 4 FINISHED THIS DISCUSSION.



(2)  WATER IN A WATERCOURSE.  Texas owns the surface water in a watercourse.  Case law defines it as a channel with a defined bed, visible banks & an intermittent flow of water.  Landowners can use the water for limited purposes,  such as livestock and home use.  “Riparian water rights” means owners  can use water on or near their property.  (2)  IMPOUNDING SURFACE WATER – a state permit needs to be granted.  To build a dam, must follow TWC specifications.  NO commercial use.  (3)  OWNERSHIP OF SPRING WATER – depends on whether water flows off the property, although the landowners does have “riparian water rights”.  If water stays on landowner’s property, then it is his.  (4)  MINERALS AND WATERCOURSES – in Texas, the ownership of the minerals under a watercourse (stream) depends on if streambeds are navigable watercourses.  The public and ingress and egress up & down the steambed.  PART 3 CONTINUED