Definition - What does Mother Hubbard mean?
Mother Hubbard is a clause that was created to provide mechanisms to include land that is not adequately described in certain interests which vest after a lease is issued. It helps in avoiding problems between various operators. This is an all-inclusive cause that has been mandated in the oil and gas deed. The deed states that any minor defects in a lease description such as left out ditches, strips or small sections adjacent or contiguous to the particular lease where an operator has legal rights to drill, the same operator should also consider this left out adjacent or contiguous ditches during the drilling program.
Petropedia explains Mother Hubbard
Conventional fields and oil reserves are getting exhausted; hence E&P companies are exploring unconventional plays that require advance drilling techniques. However, advance drilling technologies cause different issues and problems such as trespassing by one operator into the assigned lease of different operator, tract pooling issues, horizontal drilling in some other operator assigned lease, etc. The Mother Hubbard clause provides some relief in such circumstances and helps in avoiding problems between operators operating on adjacent leases.
This clause states that a particular lease also covers and includes any small patches, ditches, strips, or small sections that are adjacent or contiguous. The operator operating on this primary lease or who has legal permit to drill on a primary lease will also include these unmarked or left out small adjacent sections into their drilling program and the earnings from such left out portions will be distributed as per their percentage ownership rights in a primary lease.