Upstream Oil & Gas
Jackson Walker has been a “go-to” law firm for participants in the upstream oil and gas sector for more than 125 years. We understand the fast-paced environment in which our clients work and the important role we play in our their success. Our attorneys possess decades of experience handling domestic and multinational exploration and production transactions involving all types of oil and gas interests, facilities, and infrastructure. This experience is not just legal, but also technical and operational, as some of our attorneys also have significant operating, field, and research and development experience. We understand the sophisticated principles involved in onshore and offshore exploration and production activities, acquisitions and dispositions, hedging and risk management, protection of intellectual property assets, and the ownership and operation of oil and gas properties, both within the United States and around the world.
Our firm has been nationally recognized as one of the top practices in oil and gas energy law, receiving a “Tier One” national ranking and a “Tier One” metropolitan rating in Houston for Oil and Gas Law in the 2010 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” guide.
Collaborative, Problem-Solving Approach
Jackson Walker takes a collaborative, problem-solving approach to its upstream oil and gas practice. We regularly assist our clients in all aspects of a broad range of transactions relating to the ownership, use, exploration, development, and operation of onshore and offshore oil and gas assets, the production and sale of hydrocarbons from these assets, and the financing of these types of transactions.
Our team draws upon the industry-specific experience and knowledge of attorneys practicing in areas of law that are fundamental to a successful upstream transaction, including energy, tax, securities, regulatory, intellectual property and environmental matters. When our clients require litigation or bankruptcy support, we work closely with our experienced litigators and bankruptcy attorneys to successfully navigate proceedings in connection with the myriad legal and regulatory challenges currently facing participants in the upstream oil and gas industry.
- Represented an individual investor in a structured transaction for the development of a large South Texas Ranch, including the formation of multiple special purpose entities (SPEs) to own oil and gas fee interests and royalty interests in the ranch, the transfer of such oil and gas fee interests and existing non-participating royalty interests into the appropriate SPEs, and the negotiation with other family members of multiple oil and gas leases, term non-participating royalty interests, surface use agreements, produced water injection agreements, and other related documents, in a transaction initially valued in excess of $100 million.
- Representation of multiple oil and gas producers in the review and negotiation of drilling contracts (including IADC daywork and turnkey drilling contracts) and master service agreements with various drilling contractors and other oilfield service companies.
- Representation of multiple oil and gas producers in connection with joint interest audits conducted by co-lessees and co-working interest owners under both onshore and offshore operating agreements.
- Representation of a publicly traded oil and gas producer in the negotiation and documentation of a seismic survey participation agreement with a Fortune 100 major integrated oil and gas company, covering lands in the State of Louisiana, including the negotiation of the relevant seismic license and sublicense agreements.
- Representation of a publicly traded company in negotiation for the acquisition of gas storage rights, facilities, and attendant gas production operations.
- Representation of a privately held E&P company active in the State of Alaska in negotiating and structuring a recapitalization of the company for funding of development drilling in the North Slope of Alaska involving a three-tier equity investment structure and bridge financing and contribution of oil and gas properties and two active Alaskan oil and gas units.
- Representation in connection with gas cycling projects where liquids were stripped and the dry gas recycled into a reservoir.
- Representation of parties engaging financing sources for the development of oil and gas exploration projects using entities which have earned their way into the projects by providing expertise, technology or funding as their equity contribution.
- Representation of a privately held oil and gas producers in connection with multiple acquisitions of producing oil and gas properties in the Rocky Mountain and Permian Basin regions.
- Representation of a closely held oil and gas producer in connection with a private placement offering of U.S. oil and gas assets.
- Representation of an independent oil and gas producer in its formation of a limited partnership with an equity investment fund to serve as an investment vehicle to acquire, complete, and place on production drilled, but yet to be completed, gas wells.
- Representation of a privately owned U.S. oil and gas producer in negotiations with an Asian, government-controlled oil company concerning a lease acquisition and participation agreement pursuant to which the U.S. oil and gas producer would identify producing oil and gas acquisition opportunities within a defined area of interest (including the Eagle Ford Shale areas underlying eight Texas counties) and the foreign company would fund the acquisition of approved asset packages, with a funding commitment substantially in excess of $1 billion.
- Representation of a major private equity fund in structuring and negotiating an equity funding arrangement and a mineral interest acquisition and participation agreement for the accumulation of unleased and leased mineral interests in numerous counties in five states.
- Representation of multiple oil and gas producers in the negotiation and documentation of numerous enhanced oil recovery projects and investments, including those employing waterfloods, steam, and carbon dioxide.
- Representation of an independent oil and gas producer in negotiations with the Minerals Management Service and documentation of a secured “abandonment fund” as an alternative to furnishing to BOEM a supplemental surety bond demanded by BOEM to cover estimated plugging and abandonment liabilities.
- Representation of a major Texas university in the development and implementation of an oil and gas leasing strategy, including the design of a competitive bidding process
- Representation of a privately held oil and gas producer in connection with the negotiation and resolution of multiple disputes with landowners concerning surface use and surface damage issues.
- Representation of institutional trustees and other fiduciaries in oil and gas matters relating to large property holdings involving mineral rights, including negotiations with the lessees regarding operational disputes and the conducting of royalty audits.
- Representation of a large independent oil and gas producer in the formation of a joint venture to develop gas reserves on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Representation of offshore producers to navigate the numerous and complex changes in regulations and policies of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement
- Representation of a publicly traded independent oil and gas producer in the negotiation and documentation of transactions with a Fortune 500 drilling contractor and several other offshore oilfield service providers pursuant to which the drilling contractor and other service providers provided drilling, service boat, helicopter, and other services in connection with the drilling of multiple wells on the Outer Continental Shelf in exchange for the producer’s conveyance of net profits interests in production from the affected OCS leases, having an aggregate transaction value in excess of $400 million.
July 13, 2023
Brandon Durrett Speaks on Oil and Gas Lease ‘Washouts’ at 69th Annual Natural Resources and Energy Law Institute
Brandon Durrett will present at the 69th Annual Natural Resources and Energy Law Institute on July 21, 2023, as he discusses recent Texas cases and legislation that have expanded the jurisprudence relating to oil and gas lease “washout” transactions.
August 16, 2022
By Ali Burner and Amy Baird
President Joe Biden is set to sign into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 40% by 2030 and to invest $369 billion in energy security and climate change. This article summarizes how the new law impacts new and existing investors, developers, and producers in the energy industry.
July 12, 2021
Powering the Future, Together: D CEO Texas Energy Awards Recognize Leaders in Oil, Natural Gas, and Renewable Energy
Texas remains the top energy-producing state in the nation and a pacesetter in renewable energy, and the fourth annual D CEO Texas Energy Awards brings executives in oil, natural gas, wind, and solar together to recognize the shared impact and leadership of Texans across all forms of energy production.
April 26, 2021
During the Oilfield Water Markets 2021 Conference, Jackson Walker partner Pat Knapp will join a panel discussing the perspective of a private exploration and production (E&P) operator on optimized water management solutions.
April 12, 2021
Jordan Smith was featured in the Oil and Gas Investor cover story regarding the impact of the oil price war, pandemic, and environmental setbacks on the E&P industry.
March 24, 2021
During the 47th Annual Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, Joe F. Flack will present on title and environmental due diligence in oil and gas acquisitions.
March 2, 2021
Reagan Marble will present an analysis of 2020 Texas Court of Appeals and Supreme Court oil and gas cases, including recent cases addressing ethical conundrums for oil and gas lawyers and their clients.
December 1, 2020
During the 2020 Hot Topics in Gas and Power webcast on December 11, 2020, Jackson Walker partners Meghan Griffiths, Richard Howell, and Mike Nasi will discuss regulatory updates and environmental challenges and impacts on energy infrastructure.
June 16, 2020
Supported by a host of allied organizations, the Oil & Gas Awards celebrate leaders in upstream, midstream, services, and finance sectors. Nominations are due July 10.
June 12, 2020
View this recent webinar focused on oil and gas trends and how commercial decision-makers can mitigate risks and structure their business transactions and operations going forward.
- Representation of first lien bank group member in the Sabine Oil & Gas case (SDNY) owed approximately $90 million.
- Representation of first lien creditor in Crossfoot Energy (NDTX) bankruptcy case.
- Representation of bank group members in the CalDive (DE) bankruptcy case.
- Representation of bank group member in the Samson Resources (DE) bankruptcy case.
- Representation of prospective DIP Lender in WBH Energy (WDTX) bankruptcy case.
- Representation of aircraft financier in Magnum Hunter Resources Corp (DE) bankruptcy case.
- Representation of depository bank and credit card issuer in Hercules Offshore (DE) bankruptcy case.
- Representation of member of first lien bank group in Knight Energy workout.
- Representation of first lien lender in workout and paydown of eight figure loan prior to the Miller Energy (Alaska) bankruptcy case.
- Representation of a secured lender in Energy XXI workout.
- Representation of secured lender in Pro Oilfield Services workout.
- Representation of secured lender in Postrock Energy Services workout.
- Representation of secured lender in Craig Energy workout prior to bankruptcy case filed in Denver, Colorado.
- Representation of secured lender in Rex Energy workout.