Statute 55-224: Same; presumption of breach of covenant, when.
In any action in which relief is sought based upon breach or
violation by a lessee of an implied or expressed covenant of reasonable
exploration or of reasonable development of lands covered by an oil, gas
or oil and gas lease held by production, if the party who seeks such relief
produces competent evidence that: (a) At the time such action is commenced
there is no mineral production pursuant to such lease from a subsurface
part or parts of the land covered thereby with respect to which such relief
is sought and (b) initial oil, gas or other mineral production on the lease
commenced at least 15 years prior to the commencement of such action, a
presumption shall arise that the lessee has breached and violated such covenant
insofar as it relates to such subsurface part or parts of land.
History: L. 1983, ch. 181, § 2; April 14.