Unambiguous Contract Did Not Provide Purchaser with Exclusive Executive Mineral Interest Leasing Rights.

The plaintiff purchased property and the sellers reserved a one-half mineral interest in the property. This interest was reserved by contract and warranty deed. The contract also specified that the plaintiff was to have executive leasing rights (the exclusive right to execute oil and gas leases), but the deed did not mention the executive leasing rights. When the sellers transferred a portion of their oil and gas interest to third parties, the plaintiff filed its action against the sellers and the transferees, alleging that the sellers breached their contract in making the transfer because the plaintiff was granted exclusive executive leasing rights. In granting partial summary judgment to the defendants on the question, the court ruled that the contract did not provide exclusive executive leasing rights to the plaintiff. As such, the sellers retained executive or leasing rights in their undivided one-half interest in the mineral estate. Rainbow Trout Farms, Inc. v. Kuntz, No. 12-01260, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79946 (D. Kan. Jun. 12, 2014).

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