Rule of Capture

Definition - What does Rule of Capture mean?

The rule of capture is a law that originally came from England and has been adopted by the United States jurisdictions. The law states rule of non-liability and ownership of captured energy and natural resources that can include groundwater, gas, oil, etc. Before the law came into action, people used to drill wherever they wanted to, which resulted in clustering, breaching lease boundary regulations, etc.

Petropedia explains Rule of Capture

The rule of capture is a law establishes that the first person to capture energy or natural resources such gas, oil, groundwater, etc. will own that resource. It is useful in the establishment of the ownership and motivates owners to lawfully drill wells at will on their piece of land in order to extract natural resources. It also clarifies non-liability of the capturer in case the natural resources coming at their well from another land. The rule has played a vital role in the development of industry regulations.

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