Abstracts of Current Decisions on Mines and Mining: May to August, 1917 Page: 7
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MINERALS AND MINERAL LANDS.
oil claim without 'discovery is protected where prior to the date of
a withdrawal order he had placed a caretaker in charge of the claim
and had directed the shipment of certain material to the nearest
railroad point and had ordered lumber to be delivered on the claim
and had employed a carpenter to construct necessary buildings
thereon and had entered into a contract with a driller to drill wells
upon the claim. After the date of the withdrawal order the dili-
gent prosecution and the subsequent completion of the work and the
drilling of wells were confirmations of his prior good intentions and
United States v. Ohio Oil Co., 240 Fed. 996, p. 1005.
WITHDRAWALS-RIGHTS OF OCCUPANT-DILIGENT PROSECUTION OF
The act of June 25, 1910 (36 Stat., 847), known as the Pickett
Act, authorized withdrawals of the public lands and protected any
occupants on the mineral lands who were in diligent prosecution of
work leading to discovery of oil or gas. By this act Congress
sought to give oil locators before discovery the same rights as against
the Government that judicial decisions had given them against
third persons. But there is no inference that Congress intended to
confer any additional rights as against the Government upon those
claiming without a discovery lands withdrawn by competent
authority. Upon the withdrawal of land embraced in a mining
claim in the absence of a discovery, a claimant possesses no rights
as against the Government save the right, if he were then actually
engaged in the diligent prosecution of such work leading to a discovery
of oil or gas, to continue in the diligent prosecution of such work
until a discovery be made, and not till then will his immunity against
attack as by the Government be complete, but prior to such
event and in the absence of the required diligent prosecution of
work he had no defense to a withdrawal order.
United States v. Stockton Midway Oil Co., 240 Federal 1006, p. 1009.
OWNERSHIP OF OIL.
The owner of land is not by virtue of his proprietorship thereof
the absolute owner of the oil and gas in and under the land in their
free and natural state; but he, together with other owners of land
in the gas field, has a qualified, ownership consisting of the exclu-
sive right to drill wells necessary to reduce such minerals to his
possession, and by acquiring control thereof to become the owner of
the oil and gas as his personal property with due regard in his oper-
ation to the like enjoyment of this exclusive right by other owners.
This exclusive right is his private property, but by granting all the
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Thompson, Joseph Wesley. Abstracts of Current Decisions on Mines and Mining: May to August, 1917, report, December 1917; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38745/m1/21/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.