Duke Ligon is an Oklahoma City-based attorney with experience spanning the oil and financial sectors. In addition to sitting on the board of Panhandle Oil and Gas, Inc., and Blueknight Energy Partners, LP, both based in Oklahoma City, he serves as senior advisor to Peter J. Solomon and Company. Duke Ligon is also executive council co-chair of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business (KBH Energy Center), which is jointly operated by the law and business departments of the University of Texas at Austin.
One significant issue addressed in KBH Energy Center research is mineral rights as they pertain to horizontal wells, which often require crossing lease lines to drill. With the arrival of advanced technologies that enable quick, economical drilling of horizontal wells, the Texas legal system is deficient in providing guidance on the specific legal principles that apply when the mineral lessee initiates a horizontal well with the aim of crossing lease lines. A persistent question is whether the driller of this horizontal well requires permission, or pooling authority, from the owner of the adjacent property that is affected.
The author of the research paper concludes that standard oil and gas leases provide the full range of authority required to develop horizontal wells that cross lease lines underground. Consequently, the lessor is not entitled to injunctions that would prevent the drilling of such wells.
A longtime Oklahoma City business leader, Duke Ligon at one time served as the general counsel and a senior vice president of Devon Energy, and today manages the private mineral investment firm Mekusukey Oil Company. Over the course of his career, Duke Ligon has sat on the boards of many oil and gas industry companies, and, in 2007, was appointed to the board of Panhandle Oil and Gas, Inc.
The newly created position reflected Mr. Ligon’s longstanding affiliation with the company as a shareholder. An appointed responsibility, it was followed by formal election at the annual shareholders meeting. The company’s chairman of the board noted that Panhandle Oil and Gas would benefit from strengthened ties with an entrepreneur who combined experience in finance and extensive knowledge of the oil and gas business.
Panhandle Oil and Gas, which began operations in Texas County in the 1920s, has achieved a reputation for sustained results in the exploration and production of natural resources. Its assets include 255,000 acres of mineral-bearing land as well as working and royalty interests in more than 6,000 oil wells.
Attorney and businessman Duke Ligon serves as president and CEO of the company he established more than 40 years ago, Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC. The company is among the nation's largest privately held businesses focused on acquiring and managing perpetual mineral resources; it conducts business in Oklahoma and more than 20 other states. Mekusukey maintains offices in Wewoka and in Oklahoma City. Duke Ligon and his staff oversee operations covering approximately 80,000 net mineral acres.