Amoco Production Co. v. Carter Farms Co – Case Brief Summary (New Mexico)

In Amoco Production Co. v. Carter Farms Co., 103 N.M. 117, 120 703 P.2d 894, 897 (1985), the oil and gas lease executed by the parties did not contain an express provision for the payment of actual damages to the owner of the surface estate. Amoco, 103 N.M. at 120, 703 P.2d at 897.

Accordingly, our Supreme Court refused to impose on the mineral lessee an implied contractual duty to completely restore the surface estate following the cessation of drilling operations. Id.

Rather, the Court determined that, in the absence of any "unreasonable, excessive or negligent" use of the property by the mineral lessee, the surface owner would be unable to recover actual damages. Id.