Modernizing the Property Laws That Bind Us: Challenging Traditional Property Law Concepts Unsuited to the Realities of the Oil and Gas Industry


  • Alicia K. Quesnel



Energy Law, Petroleum Law


Practitioners deal primarily with two different methods of interpretation in oil and gas cases: the strict method of interpretation and the liberal method of interpretation. However, in recent decisions such as Bank of Montreal v. Dynex Petroleum and Taylor v. Scurry-Rainbow Oil, the courts refused to apply the common law, instead upholding long-standing industry practices that could not be easily classified into proper legal categories. Following a review of the strict interpretation and liberal interpretation methodologies currently used in interpreting oil and gas cases, this article looks more closely at the method of interpretation used by the courts in Dynex and Taylor. This method of interpretation will be referred to as the challenging method of interpretation. The article discusses the key analytical aspects of the challenging method interpretation, and examines its possible impact on the existing methods of interpretation used in oil and gas cases. Finally, this article concludes with some thoughts about the implications of these cases on oil and gas law.