Oil and gas law in the United States is the branch of law that pertains to the acquisition and ownership rights in oil and gas both under the soil before discovery and after its capture, and adjudication regarding those rights.
Oil and gas rights extend vertically downward from the property line. Unless explicitly separated by a deed, oil and gas rights are owned by the surface landowner. Once severed from surface ownership, oil and gas rights may be bought, sold, or transferred, like other real estate property. Ownership in the oil and gas rights for different horizontal layers, or strata, may be further divided and sold to different parties.