Texas Joint Operating Agreement
Conversely, in 2000, the Texas Court of Appeals reviewed the 1977/1982 Exculpatory Clause at Abraxas Petroleum Corporation v. Hornburg and found that the clause, since it appears in a provision that defines the operator`s liability in the contract area, was limited to an operator`s obligations with respect to drilling work. Under the Abraxas approach, an operator can be held liable for any breach of the joint operating agreement, but can only be held liable for operation-related acts if gross negligence or wilful misconduct is found. Companies use joint venture agreements to assign and legally assess the rights and obligations between assignments of rights and obligations of rights holders. The JOA offers a structure for mining companies and participation in turnover. Each company under the contract equally shares the risk of the company, so no company or individual bears the entire burden. The Shipowners` Court considered it important that the 1989 OJA refer to `its activities under the Agreement` and not to `all such operations` used in the 1977/1982 Debt Relief Clause. The Court of First Instance found that the amendment extended the exculpatory protection of an operator and interpreted the language of 1989 by relieving an operator of all activities covered by the 1989 OJA, including a breach of the Joint Operating Agreement itself and not only of the operator`s actions in the context of field operations. According to the shipowner, an operator is not liable for acts committed under the 1989 OJA, including an infringement, unless his conduct is based on gross negligence or wilful misconduct. The broader importance of shipowners remains somewhat unclear, as the Texas Supreme Court decision only concerns parties using the 1989 model forms in Texas. However, other lawyers, such as Colorado, who do not have a strong law in this area, may regard the shipowner`s analysis as congruent when granting a similar exculpatory clause in joint venture agreements. For example, when interpreting the 1977/1982 Exkulpatory Clause, the 10th Circuit examined Stine and ultimately concluded that such a clause does not relieve an operator generally and therefore had no rights against the operator for breach of the joint operating agreement.
 One of the most widely used instruments in the oil and gas industry is the joint operating agreement. A joint venture agreement is a contract for the exploration, exploitation and production of oil and gas concession areas between Cotenants. Below is an overview of joint venture agreements in Texas. However, to understand the implications of shipowners, it is useful to check the conflicting interpretations of previous AAPL Model Form JOA-Disseminating Clauses of the 5th Circuit and the Texas Court of Appeals. The 1977 and 1982 AAPL model JOAs contain an identical discharge clause (the `1977/1982 Exculpatory Clause`), which obliges an operator to „conduct all these operations in a good and artisanal manner, but he has no responsibility as an operator vis-à-vis the other parties. . . .