S. Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a member of the Energy practice group and concentrates his practice in the areas of oil, gas and natural resources law, with an emphasis on negotiating transactions pertaining to upstream financing, joint ventures, DrillCo transactions, and traditional acquisitions and divestitures. The Energy practice group has been nationally recognized as one of the top practices in oil and gas energy law, receiving a “Tier One” national ranking in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” guide.
Jordan represents exploration and production companies, private equity funds, and other financial institutions in complex transactions across the energy sector, with a particular focus on alternative financing and joint ventures to develop upstream and midstream oil and gas assets, including DrillCo transactions, volumetric production payments, equity joint ventures and farmout arrangements.
Jordan advises oil and gas clients on a wide range of issues, including title issues, water rights issues, horizontal drilling under special field rules and lease development obligations. In addition, he has experience in a variety of other complex business transactions, including the acquisition and development of real property, corporate mergers and reorganizations, asset acquisitions and divestitures and project financing.
Jordan works as a strategic partner with his clients to provide proactive legal solutions to accomplish their business objectives, address specific challenges, meet critical deadlines, and maximize financial results.
B.A., with honors, The University of Texas at Austin
J.D., St. Mary’s University School of Law
- Saint Mary’s Law Journal, Research and Articles Editor
- Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Fraternity
Jordan has advised on and worked with clients on a wide array of business and energy transactions, including:
- Purchase and sale agreements
- Joint development agreements
- Participation agreements
- Joint operating agreements
- Unitization agreements
- Conveyance instruments
- Oil and gas leases
- Water purchase agreements
- Surface use agreements
- Mechanic’s and materialmen’s liens
- Pipeline and other easement agreements
- Represented IOG Capital LP in multiple DrillCo transactions to develop oil and gas assets throughout Texas and other parts of the country.
- Represented Abraxas Petroleum Corporation in the formation of a joint venture with a Colorado-based private equity fund to develop oil-rich and natural gas liquids-rich assets in the Eagle Ford shale formation. The joint venture involved a contribution of oil and gas properties with an approximate value of $300 million to the joint venture in exchange for a capital commitment by the joint venturer to ensure future influxes of capital for exploration and development purposes.
- Represented a Texas-based oil and gas exploration company in the private offering of interests in a limited partnership holding company.
- Represented privately owned oil and gas companies in the negotiation, preparation and closing of Barnett Shale acreage in Texas, including the rendering of title opinions related to these properties.
- Represented landowners in negotiations of oil and gas leases, surface use agreements, pipeline easements, seismic agreements and similar agreements related to upstream exploration and production.
- Represented oil and gas operators in negotiating and drafting Joint Operating Agreements, Area of Mutual Interest Agreement, Joint Development Agreements, Master Services Agreements, Transition Services Agreements and other similar instruments.
- Represented an oil and gas well drilling services provider in sale of substantially all of its assets, including drilling rigs, workover rigs, haul trucks, piping and additional assets to a competitor seeking to expand its operations into the Eagle Ford Shale area.
- Represented a prospective purchaser of undergrounded depleted reservoir storage facilities in conducting preliminary due diligence and negotiating deal terms.
- Represented Abraxas Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ: AXAS) in the sale of its non–operated Bakken assets in North Dakota to Natural Resource Partners L.P. (NYSE: NRP) for $38.3 million, after accounting for purchase price adjustments.
- Represented an Austin-based private energy company in the acquisition of overriding royalty interests in the Utica Shale in Columbia County, Ohio.
- Represented private E&P company in the sale of producing and non-producing Eagle Ford Shale Formation leasehold assets in South Texas in a transaction with a total potential value of $78 million (inclusive of the option purchase price).
- Represented numerous owners of large South Texas ranches in the negotiation of pipeline easement agreements with both oil and gas exploration companies and major interstate pipeline companies with statutory powers of eminent domain.
- Texas Rising Star, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2019-2021
- “Best Lawyers in Dallas,” D Magazine, 2018-2021
- “Best Lawyer,” S.A. Scene, 2015
- “Rising Star,” S.A. Scene, 2013, 2015
Publications & Speaking Engagements
- “Hot Topics in Energy Bankruptcy,” Houston Association of Professional Landmen (2020)
- “Texas Energy Market Update: Bankruptcy in the Oil Patch,” Women’s Energy Network of North Texas (2020)
- “Structures for Deploying Private Capital in Upstream Oil and Gas Projects,” XXXIV Review of Oil and Gas Law, Energy Section of the Dallas Bar Association (2019)
- “Sales and Acquisitions of Oil & Gas Assets in Bankruptcy,” 37th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course (2019)
- “Joint Exploration and Development Agreements,” XXXIII Review of Oil and Gas Law, Energy Section of the Dallas Bar Association (2018)
- “Structures for Deploying Private Capital in Upstream Oil and Gas Projects,” Energy Leadership Series (2018)
- “Legal and Regulatory Update,” Whitley Penn Energy Forum (2017)
- “Accounting for Change: How the Accounting Profession Will Thrive in the Current Economic, Tax and Political Environment,” 2017 Energy Conference (2017)
- “What Every General Counsel Should Know About CEO’s with Ranches: Hunting Events and Game Ranch Liability,” Association of Corporate Council’s Wine and Weapons – What Every South Texas Corporate Counsel Needs To Know (June 2012)
- “Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Constructive Notice of Unrecorded Agreements in Oil and Gas Titles,” 29th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course (2011) (co-authored with Peter Hosey).
- “Are We There Yet? The Start And Finish of an Oil and Gas Lease,” Section Report of the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (2011) (co-authored with Peter Hosey)
- “Title to Uranium and Other Minerals (Still Crazy After All These Years),” Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section (2009) (co-authored with Peter Hosey)
In the News
- “Oil and Gas Investor Cover Story: Revising the E&P Blueprint,” Hart Energy (April 2021)
- State Bar of Texas, Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section, Member
- Dallas Bar Association, Natural Resources Section, Member
- Young Professionals in Energy, Member
- Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow