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In Brief: A Digest of Exploration and Production Projects

Client Success

Transactions and Agreements

  • Counseled clients in the purchase and sale of assets in nearly every basin in the United States.
  • Represented several oil and gas operators in the negotiation, drafting and execution of a variety of oil and gas contracts and related documents, including joint operating agreements, oil and gas leases, surface use agreements and disposal well agreements.
  • Represented startup exploration and production and midstream companies in securing private equity and debt financing in excess of $1.5 billion.
  • Provided due diligence services to a large oil and gas company in connection with its acquisition of Colorado Niobrara shale assets.


  • Successfully prosecuted a more than $20 million U.S. Tax Court case, with a finding for taxpayer on proper method of depreciating natural gas gathering assets.
  • Won summary judgment in a state court proceeding involving obligations under farm-out agreements and unit operating agreements.
  • Represented gas gathering companies in qui tam multidistrict litigation proceeding alleging fraudulent underpayment of royalties to U.S. government on gas produced from federal leases. Clients ultimately were dismissed without any payment to relator or to government;
  • Managed litigation nationwide for a Fortune 500 energy company for a decade, including several cases involving oil and gas exploration and production disputes.
  • Represented small operator in a dispute over the applicability or survivability of oil and gas leases.
  • Argued on behalf of client operator and State of Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration regarding the scope of an eminent domain statute applicable to certain oil and gas operations. Court ruled against client, relying on an alleged ambiguity in the statute. Utah’s legislature subsequently amended the statute to remedy the alleged ambiguity in a manner completely consistent with the client’s position.
  • Defended a large operator from claims of property damage and trespass as a result of the construction of a section line roadway.
  • Defended a small operator from claims of breach of contract, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty brought by a minority interest owner following the operator’s disposition of oil and gas properties.
  • Defended an operator from a claim for removal of the operator under a joint operating agreement based on claims of negligent operations.
  • Represented defendant in litigation relating to the flaring of natural gas.
  • Regulatory
  • Represented a natural gas producer in proceedings to distribute millions of dollars in funds disgorged by a trading partner of the client in a settlement of FERC enforcement matters. Obtained distribution of a substantial share of the disgorged funds for the client, overcoming factual and legal impediments that threatened to limit the client’s participation in, and share of, the distributed proceeds.
  • Defended a natural gas gatherer in complaint proceeding before FERC seeking to impose federal regulation under the Natural Gas Act on the gatherer’s pipeline facilities.
  • Represented numerous natural gas producers in take-or-pay disputes with interstate pipelines, resulting in payments of tens of millions of dollars by the pipelines to clients.
  • Advised oil field services company on disclosure requirements and protection of confidential business information related to content of hydraulic fracturing fluid. Provided Toxic Control Substances Act training to in-house staff.