John Bishop Ballem, QC, LL.D

John Bishop Ballem, QC, LL.D, (1925-2010) was a Calgary novelist, attorney, legal scholar and poet. An expert horseman and former Navy pilot, John travelled extensively throughout the world, including the North Pole in 2005, Easter Island and Antarctica in 2006, and the South Pole in January 2009. He published 14 novels, a volume of poetry, numerous short stories, and a textbook on oil and gas law, now in its 4th edition.

His second to last novel, A Victim of Convenience, was published by Dundurn in 2006. The Oil Patch Quartet, an omnibus volume of four of his previously published novels set in the Alberta oil patch, was a Calgary bestseller in 2005.

Selected Bibliography
The Devil’s Lighter. General Publishing, 1973
The Dirty Scenario. General Publishing, 1974
The Judas Conspiracy (reissued as Alberta Alone). General Publishing, 1976
The Moon Pool. McClelland & Steward, 1978
Sacrifice Play. Ballantine Books, 1980
The Marigot Run. Ballantine Books, 1984
Oilpatch Empire. McClelland & Stewart, 1985
Death Spiral. Plains Publishing, 1989
The Barons. Gorman & Gorman, 1991
Manchineel. A Castle Street Mystery/Dundurn, 2000
Murder as a Fine Art. A Castle Street Mystery/Dundurn, 2002
The Oil Patch Quartet. Cormorant Books, 2005
A Victim of Convenience. A Castle Street Mystery/Dundurn, 2006

Lovers & Friends, 2000

The Oil and Gas Lease in Canada. University of Toronto Press, 1973, 1985, 1999, 2008

Canadian Petroleum Law Award
Starving Romantic Poets Prize
Shortlisted, Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, 1998, for “Rigged to Blow”

The Oil and Gas Lease in Canada

Long recognized as the standard work on the topic, The Oil and Gas Lease in Canada discusses the legal document that determines the process by which a freehold mineral owner may grant oil companies the right to search for and produce minerals. Subjected to ongoing litigation and governmental regulation, the Lease continues to evolve as the body of common law surrounding it grows and develops. The substances covered by the Lease are unique in that their occurrence is uncertain until discovery, and they are capable of moving from place to place within a reservoir. These qualities have led to the development of new legal concepts, basically creating a separate and distinct branch of the law.

This fourth edition of The Oil and Gas Lease in Canada guides the reader through the complexities of the Lease and the legal issues attached to it. John Bishop Ballem brings the text up to date on recent developments, including changes and additions to the terms of the Lease, the effect of recent court decisions, and the growth of coal bed methane as an energy source. Of particular interest is his examination of what takes place following a Lease’s involuntary termination. Ballem deals with specific examples of this situation, detailing its consequences for both individual mineral owners and companies, as well as for future judicial pronouncements. The fourth edition of The Oil and Gas Lease in Canada is indispensable for mineral owners, oil companies, land agents, lawyers, and legal institutions.