Abstracts of Current Decisions on Mines and Mining: May to August, 1917 Page: 71
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MINES AND MINING OPERATIONS.
BREACH OF CONTRACT TO DRILL-PROSPECTIVE PROFITS.
A land owner entered into a contract with an oil-well driller by
which for a consideration the driller should drill certain oil wells
at $4.50 per foot, but the driller should not be compelled to drill to a
depth exceeding 1,000 feet in any one hole, and it was provided that
the contract should cover a total of not less than 2,000 feet and not
less than two nor more than four wells should be drilled. The
driller began operations and on reaching a depth of 400 feet in well
No. 1 it was abandoned' as an oil well and by agreement was con-
verted into and used as a water well for further operations on the
property. The land owner thereupon paid $1,800, the contract
price for the 400 feet. The driller proceeded and drilled a second
well to a depth of 907 feet and was prevented from drilling farther
because of the failure of the landowner to comply with his part of the
contract to furnish the materials agreed by him to be furnished. In
an action by the driller to recover for drilling the wells under the
contract the court was not bound to consider the 400-foot well as
though it had been drilled to the depth of 1,000 feet. The contract
does not contemplate that any well should be of a definite depth, but
there was a limit to the number that should be developed. The
plaintiff's consent to the drilling of well No. 1 to a depth of 400 feet
was sufficient to justify the court in allowing him for that number of
feet only at the contract price. The plaintiff was entitled to recover
for a breach of the contract and for his loss of profits on the theory
that the loss of profits on a contract of this kind is a necessary conse-
quence of the breach and is not required to be especially pleaded
nor are such profits too speculative or remote to be a basis for dam-
ages. The rule is where the prospective profits are lost by the
natural and direct consequences of the breach of the contract they
may be recovered.
Robinson v. Rispin (California App.), 165 Pacific 979, p. 980.
METHODS OF OPERATING.
INJURY TO MINE-RIGHT OF LESSEE TO RECOVER.
The owner of coal lands conveyed to a named grantee all the coal
and other minerals in the land without liability for any damage done
to the surface in consequence of mining and working out the coal.
Subsequently the owner conveyed the surface to a third person, the
deed excepting and reserving the underlying coal and the right to
mine, together with the right to use all entries under the land and to
enter upon the land for the purpose of repairing the entries when
necessary. The active work of mining was suspended for a period
of 15 years. During the time of such suspension the surface owners
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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/m1/85/: accessed February 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.