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Mineral/oil settlement in Plaquemines

Replies: 8

Re: Mineral/oil settlement in Plaquemines

Posted: 16 Dec 2006 5:58PM GMT
Classification: Query
There have been quite a few land cases over time in Plaquemines Parish. The largest involved the Bohemia Spillway. In the early 1970's, it involved only four sections of land, and was the Hubert Burat(Buras) descendants. By the 1980's, everyone from the Ostrica Canal to the community of Bohemia sought to get land back, eventually getting the legislature to return title to the title owners when the Bohemia Spillway was created. Not everyone the Levee Board paid had clear titles, and some conflicted with the Hubert Burat claim, which was not recognized. Shortly before the judge hearing the "Hubert" case could make a decision, he resigned under suspicion on another matter. The replacement judge gave the levee board 30-year "squatter's rights." This prompted everyone else involved in the takeover from the 1920's to take action, especially when some found documents where the levee board gave mineral leases only days after cutting checks for property from other locations in the spillway(a private party had to wait ten years).
One of the reasons why many sought to return the Bohemia Spillway to former owners was it did not help in the 1927 floods, especially when a four mile section had a natural levee 20+ feet high along the riverbank. That was near the Cox Bay and East Empire oilfields. The levee board did not transfer past mineral royalties to the previous owners, only title and possible future rights. After 50+ years, many oilfields have little left to develop or produce.
The development where the levee board gave oil companies surface leases in the Ostrica area has been obliterated in Katrina. No mineral leases were granted in that portion. At one time, storage for over 30 million barrels of oil lay in the two primary facilities. Now only pipelines crisscross the area.
The revenue Orleans Levee Board received from that area was used to develop the Lakefront in New Orleans. Property taxes on the citizens of New Orleans were drastically reduced compared to other parish levee boards, thanks to legislation pushed by Huey Long. After 1 January 2007, Orleans Levee Board(District) ceases to function.
The surface of the old spillway is maintained by Wildlife and Fisheries as a Wildlife refuge, where it was not developed by oil companies. What cemeteries lay in its area were to be left alone, and many have been buried in sediments/subsidence over the last 80 years. Pointe Pleasant, the largest, had a burial as late as 1966. Iron crosses were popular markers then, so some have rusted away.
Sorry if I can't help more. What money there was has been spent. There was never an escrow account as many rumored during the early period of litigation. Almost all heirs of owners of note in the 1920's currently receive their property tax notices, since now the public notices are showing delinquent taxes on the some of the restored titles.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Jennifer Buras 12 Apr 2004 6:48PM GMT 
E Buras 22 Jul 2004 7:54PM GMT 
Burat1600 11 Aug 2004 2:50AM GMT 
Jennifer A. Buras 11 Aug 2004 3:20PM GMT 
Cheryl Cannon 29 Jun 2006 7:13PM GMT 
Lilgumbo 28 Feb 2008 3:12PM GMT 
nancy 15 Aug 2005 9:05PM GMT 
williamstring... 17 Dec 2006 12:58AM GMT 
sanjhenry 29 Feb 2008 7:14PM GMT 
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