Our Oil & Gas Practice

We provide corporate, regulatory, and litigation services to upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas clients. We help exploration and production (E&P) companies, oil field service companies, vendors, suppliers, gathering and pipeline companies, refineries, and investors complete transactions, pursue land and access rights, negotiate operational agreements, file comments to rulemakings, and achieve environmental and other regulatory compliance. Our team also represents clients in diverse litigation and enforcement actions before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. We have notable experience working with companies developing the Marcellus and Utica shales, having won precedent-setting cases on behalf of our clients regarding oil and gas royalties, post-production costs, surface use, and lease expiration issues. Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, the firm’s government affairs affiliate, also assists with achieving the regulatory and legislative goals of our E&P, pipeline, and downstream clients.  Some of our representative experience includes the following:

  • Full-service representation of oil and gas production companies targeting the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale in the Appalachian Basin region in litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters.
  • Advise and represent oil and gas production companies in all aspects of oil and gas lease transactions and litigation, including lease drafting, lease interpretation, royalty and bonus payments, fractured ownership of oil and gas and other mineral interests, surface use, voluntary and forced pooling, physical and seismic trespass, seismic testing, gas migration and water pollution allegations, lease drafting, well site development on private and government owned lands, due diligence on leasehold acquisitions, advice on various oil and gas transactions such as joint operating agreements, service agreements, overriding royalty interest agreements, and farmouts.
  • Represented oil and gas production companies in major cases resulting in precedent-setting decisions for the industry in Pennsylvania, including Belden & Blake v. DCNR, 969 A.2d 528 (Pa. 2009) (successful affirmation of surface use rights of oil and gas owners/lessees); Range Resources v. Salem Township, 964 A.2d 869 (Pa. 2009) (successful challenge to local ordinance regulating oil and gas activities); and Kilmer v. Elexco Land Services, 990 A.2d 1147 (Pa. 2010) (successful defense of natural gas leases challenged by landowners under the Pennsylvania Minimum Royalty Act).
  • Represented amicus parties in Butler v. Charles Powers Estate, 65 A.3d 885 (Pa. 2013), regarding ownership of oil and natural gas in shale formations.
  • Defended a major oil and gas production company in Humberston v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., 75 A.3d 504 (Pa. Super. 2013), in precedent-setting decision regarding operator’s right to construct a water-storage impoundment on leased property for shale-gas development on the property and other properties within a drilling unit.
  • Serve as Pennsylvania regulatory counsel to oil and gas production companies on environmental and regulatory permitting requirements, including erosion and sedimentation controls for well pad and gas pipeline projects, blasting permits for seismic activities, road use and bonding matters, local zoning matters, and statutory pooling and unitization issues.
  • Advised and represented a natural gas operator on WV and PA environmental regulations applicable to oil and natural gas wells in connection with various matters, including advice on protection of water supplies of landowners, oil and gas leasing provisions regarding environmental protections, and compliance advice regarding the preparation for and commencement of drilling of natural gas wells.
  • Represented a gas exploration company in a negotiated joint development agreement with another major oil and gas company and a paid-up lease of 6,000 mineral acres and 2,000 surface acres in Pennsylvania for the purpose of gas development.
  • Served as local counsel for a major oil and gas company in a $4.3 billion acquisition of natural gas resources primarily located in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region.
  • Represented oil and gas production companies and oilfield services companies as defendants in various litigation matters alleging that the client’s natural gas well drilling and hydraulic fracture operations caused environmental harm and contaminated private water supplies of landowners.
  • Represented a client in negotiations with Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, including drafting road-use agreements, easement agreements, and a coordination agreement for access to public lands overlying privately held oil and gas estates.
  • Represented a client in disputes with Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources over ownership of oil, gas, and minerals underlying streambeds.
  • Represented and advised a client in the acquisition of oil and gas leases in Pennsylvania, including drafting and review of purchase and sale agreement, oil and gas leases, lease ratifications, lease extensions, and related transaction documents.
  • Represented and advised a non-operator in connection with the acquisition and operation of oil and gas leases in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, including drafting a joint operating agreement and amendments, advising on area of mutual interest agreements (AMIs), and drafting assignments of overriding royalty interests.
  • Represented and advised an operator in connection with a bid to purchase oil and gas leases in New York in bankruptcy proceedings, including negotiating with a non-operator and drafting a joint operating agreement, area of mutual interest agreement, purchase and sale agreement, assignment agreements, and assignments of working interests and overriding royalty interests.
  • Represented a client in its first major acquisition of oil and gas leases in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, including drafting and reviewing of a purchase and sale agreement, assignment agreement, oil and gas leases, and related transaction documents; assisted and advised the client with drafting form of oil and gas lease and form of oil and gas deed as part of acquisition of Pennsylvania and West Virginia assets; and assisted the client in the acquisition of road-way and easement agreements for oil and gas operations as part of acquisition in West Virginia.
  • Counsel to financial institutions and investors in the acquisition of interests in oil and gas wells in Appalachia, Permian, and other production basins.
  • Represented an oil and gas production company in a dispute over payment of a state impact fee associated with natural gas wells.
  • Advised a major oil and gas producing company regarding a national water resource management program and regulatory programs governing water withdrawal and use requirements.
  • Represented oil and gas operators in challenges to well permits issued by Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Advise clients regarding notices of violations issued by Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Counsel to well operators and midstream companies regarding regulatory changes to erosion and sedimentation controls for oil and gas activities in Pennsylvania.
  • Counsel to well operators regarding well site restoration and reclamation requirements.
  • Counsel to well operators regarding regulatory changes to erosion and sedimentation controls for oil and gas activities in Pennsylvania.
  • Representation of a frac sand company in the successful litigation of the siting of a frac sand transload facility.
  • Advise oil and gas production companies and oilfield services companies regarding liens and bankruptcy issues in down markets.
  • Advise bond issuers on state and federal oil and gas well reclamation bond regulations.
  • Advise frac sand mining clients on a sale of interests in frac sand mines.
  • Advise and represent oil and gas well operators in well site crisis management, including managing all aspects of internal investigations into well site accidents, engaging private investigators to assist in well site management and evidence preservation, interviewing witnesses, serving as point person for contacts with state and federal environmental and workplace safety agencies, advising on contract obligations among well operators and their contractors, and advising on insurance coverage matters.
  • Represented PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC in obtaining environmental and other regulatory approvals related to the development of the PennEast natural gas pipeline, an approximately 110-mile pipeline that will originate in Luzerne County, PA, and terminate in Mercer County, NJ.
  • Represented South Jersey Gas Company in obtaining regulatory approvals for the development of an approximately 22-mile natural gas pipeline to serve reliability needs in southern New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and repower a coal electric generation plant.
  • Represented a midstream pipeline company in its $150 million acquisition of another pipeline and gathering company and associated rights to construct a major natural gas pipeline through New York and Pennsylvania.
  • Represented a natural gas company in the condemnation of natural gas storage properties.
  • Represented Delphi Midstream Partners, LLC in its $200 million acquisition of the rights to construct and operate a 31-mile natural gas pipeline in the Marcellus Shale region in New York and Pennsylvania.
  • Represented a group of energy companies in securing environmental permits for the construction of 100+-mile natural gas pipeline from the Marcellus Shale region.
  • Prepared all documents required to conduct an “open season” for a new oil pipeline from North Dakota.
  • Represent midstream companies in disputes involving rights of way and easements.
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At the Well Weekly
Welcome to At the Well Weekly, a blog designed for busy folks in the oil and gas industry. If you haven’t read a thing during the week, our hope is that you can breeze through the update and be up to speed on the basics such as current rig counts, commodity prices, and case law updates on legal issues of interest in Appalachia and elsewhere.
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