W&T OFFSHORE, L.L.C.
TEXAS BRINE CORPORATION AND TEXAS BRINE COMPANY, L.L.C. TEXAS BRINE COMPANY, L.L.C.
W&T OFFSHORE, L.L.C.
Appeal from the Seventeenth Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of Lafourche State of Louisiana No. 128742 c/w
128754 Div. "E" The Honorable F. Hugh LaRose, Judge
J. Charpentier Matthew B. Smith Baton Rouge, LA Attorneys for
Defendants/Appellees Texas Brine Company, L.L.C. and Texas
Scott Keaty Joshua G. McDiarmid Baton Rouge, LA Attorneys for
Amicus Curiae E.W. Brown, Jr. Properties F/ B/O LDSBB, LP,
Charles E. Brown, Jr. Properties, LP, Carrie B. Henley
Properties, LP, Robert S. Brown Properties, LP, Richard E.
Brown, Michael S. Brown, Mary Robbins Brown -Jones, JCC Brown
Properties Louisiana, LP, Donner Properties, LLC, Diana L.
Chance, Agent for Donner, Estate of Carolyn B. Negley, Estate
of Joan B. Winter and Odom Louisiana Properties, LLC
Davillier Michael P. Schillage Charles F. Zimmer New Orleans,
LA Attorneys for Plaintiff/Appellant W& T Offshore,
Taylor Darden Andrew J. Brien New Orleans, LA Attorneys for
Amicus Curiae Louisiana Landowners Association, Inc.
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, HOLDRIDGE, AND PENZATO, JJ.
W&T Offshore, L.L.C., appeals a judgment of the trial
court denying its claim for injunctive relief and damages
against plaintiffs/appellees, Texas Brine Company, L.L.C.,
and Texas Brine Corporation.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Texas Brine entered into a "Salt and Underground
Storage Lease" (1979 lease) with W&T's
predecessors in interest to utilize land in Lafourche Parish,
identified as Estate of E.W. Brown, et al., located at
Section 59, 64, and 71, T15S-R15E (the Brown property) for
conducting salt mining operations. The 1979 lease had an
initial term often years and would last "so long
thereafter as salt or salt brine [were] produced from the
property[.]" The 1979 lease included a personal
servitude of right of use, granting Texas Brine the authority
to construct a pipeline on the leased premises, which
provided, in pertinent part:
[Texas Brine] shall have the right to construct, operate and
maintain a pipeline for the transportation of brine over and
across additional property of Lessor comprising the North
one-half Section ... of Section 64 and all of Section 59,
Township 15 South, Range 15 East, Parish of La[f]ourche,
Louisiana, on such portion of the property as designated by
[Texas Brine] and as approved by Lessor, such approval not to
be unreasonably withheld. (Emphasis added.)
1980, Texas Brine constructed a fourteen inch in diameter and
6.7 mile long pipeline across Section 59 of the Brown
property pursuant to the 1979 lease. If properly maintained,
it was anticipated that the pipeline would be useful for
approximately thirty years. In 1993, W&T attained a
23.66% undivided interest in the Brown property becoming the
largest co-owner of the Brown property.
February 2014, Texas Brine filed an application for a permit
from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the construction of
a second pipeline (replacement pipeline) on Section 59 of the
Brown property to replace the fourteen inch brine pipeline.
The replacement pipeline was to be constructed eight feet
away from the original pipeline. W&T claimed it was not
consulted before Texas Brine sought its permit from the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers.
November of 2014, Texas Brine began negotiations with W&T
and the owners of the remaining 76.34% undivided interest of
the Brown property to abandon the first pipeline and
construct a replacement pipeline adjacent to the existing
line. On August 7, 2015, Texas Brine filed a "Pipeline
Right-of-Way" Agreement in the conveyance records of
Lafourche Parish, showing that 76.34% of the owners of the
Brown property granted Texas Brine "the right to lay,
construct, maintain, replace, change the size of, move,
remove and operate a single pipeline not to exceed eighteen
inches ... diameter upon completion, and no more than
twenty-four ... inches upon completion of a replacement
pipeline ... for the transportation of brine and other
fluids[.]" Texas Brine alleged that this agreement
allowed it to construct a replacement pipeline adjacent to
the original pipeline. W&T did not join the other 76.34%
co-owners in agreeing to sign the "Pipeline
Brine allegedly began construction of the replacement
pipeline in August of 2015 and it was completed on November
7, 2015. The replacement pipeline was larger and entirely
separate from the first pipeline, as it was eighteen inches
in diameter, approximately seven miles long, and
approximately eight feet away from the original pipeline.
November 12, 2015, counsel for W&T sent a letter to Texas
Brine, informing it that W&T did not consent to the
construction of the replacement pipeline located on the Brown
property and that consent of all of the co-owners of the
Brown property was required for the granting of a pipeline
right of way on the property, and further requesting that
Texas Brine "immediately cease and desist from the
illegal construction activities on its property."
response, Texas Brine filed a Petition for Declaratory
Judgment and Injunctive Relief on November 24, 2015, (docket
number 128754) alleging that the 1979 lease granted it
"the right to lay pipelines, and to build roads and
other structures on the [Brown] Property as necessary to
produce, save, take care of, treat, transport and own said
salt and salt brine." Texas Brine stated that it was
entitled to a declaratory judgment recognizing that it was
entitled to replace the brine pipeline crossing the Brown
property under the terms of the 1979 lease and the 2015
"Pipeline Right-of-Way" Agreement.
November 24, 2015, W&T filed a Petition for Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO) and Preliminary and Permanent
Injunctive relief (docket number 128742). The trial court
granted W&T's request for TRO restraining, enjoining,
and prohibiting Texas Brine from continuing the unauthorized
pipeline construction on the Brown property.
December 1, 2015, Texas Brine filed a "Motion for
Dissolution of Temporary Restraining Order and Damages"
(docket number 128742). On December 3, 2015, W&T amended
its petition to request a claim for injunctive relief,
declaratory relief, and damages (docket number 128742). In
its amended petition, W&T alleged that Texas Brine did
not have the authority ...