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Oil and Gas

Client and Industry Challenges

Businesses and individuals involved in the oil and gas industry regularly face a broad range of unique and often complex legal issues involving the exploration, production, development, transportation, trade, storage, marketing, refining and processing of natural gas, coal bed methane, oil and other petroleum products.

Snell & Wilmer's oil, gas and natural resources attorneys advise clients on all aspects of oil and gas transactions and dispute resolution matters. While our attorneys understand both the legal and business issues facing the oil and gas sector, we make it a priority to learn about and address the unique legal needs and business goals of each of our oil and gas clients. Snell & Wilmer attorneys are on the front lines of some of the most challenging issues facing the industry, including, for example, landowner royalty disputes, impacts of existing and proposed state and local hydraulic fracturing regulations on the permitting of projects, and workouts and asset sales in the bankruptcy context.

Areas of Service

Exploration, Production and Development: Our oil and gas attorneys draft, review and negotiate contracts relating to the exploration, production and development of oil and gas projects, including leases, operating agreements, farm-out agreements, production purchase and sale agreements, exploration agreements and other contracts affecting oil and gas business development and operations.

Acquisitions and Divestitures: Our oil and gas team regularly drafts, reviews and negotiates purchase and sale agreements for the acquisition and divestiture of wells, minerals, oil and gas properties and pipelines and related assets, and coordinates all aspects of due diligence in regional and multi-state transactions.

Debt Equity and Finance: Our oil and gas attorneys assist international, national, large and small oil and gas companies with debt and equity financing transactions. We have assisted companies with financings of company acquisitions, producing properties and drilling operations, establishing credit facilities and making public offerings and private placements. We help form joint ventures, limited partnerships and program or participation agreements. In addition, our lawyers advise financial institutions on their energy industry reserve based lending transactions and purchases of production payments, net profits interests, preferred stock, common stock, convertible debentures and other securities.

Title and Due Diligence: Our Attorneys have significant experience in the preparation of comprehensive acquisition, drilling and division order title opinions for fee, state, federal and Indian lands throughout the Rocky Mountain region, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and North Dakota. Our title group works closely with clients and land title companies to provide a cost effective product as efficiently as possible. With our extensive industry contacts, we can obtain timely abstracting and related title services and manage the process on behalf of our clients, if needed. Further, we have represented companies on royalty disputes with mineral owners and JOA disputes with working interest partners, as well as title curative matters.

Our team of title and due diligence attorneys has been involved in many successful due diligence projects including producing property and company acquisitions. Regardless of the asset, our attorneys have the experience and expertise to perform expedited due diligence reviews to help our clients assess the risks associated with each acquisition.

Midstream, Transportation and Storage: Our attorneys regularly handle matters involving the gathering, treatment, processing, transportation, fractionation, exchange, storage, purchase and sale of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. We assist clients with transactions and regulatory matters including pipeline right of way planning, permitting for reservoir and salt dome storage facilities, arranging for product storage, condemnation and eminent domain proceedings, negotiation and drafting of easement and right-of-way agreements, EPC contracts, equipment sales and rental agreements, pipeline installation and pipeline interconnect agreements, governmental licensing, permitting and approvals at the state and federal level, "open seasons" for pipeline development or expansions, and rate and tariff hearings.

Infrastructure Development and Project Finance: Our attorneys regularly assist with the structuring, development, building, financing, acquisition or sale of oil and gas projects throughout the western United States and beyond. Our services include assisting with the negotiation of project contracts, including power purchase, interconnection, tolling, conversion, transportation, engineering, construction, operation, procurement, fuel supply and transportation, maintenance and power marketing and trading agreements.
Commercial Marketing: Our team assists with retail facility leases, distribution and supply agreements, contract litigation, Petroleum Marketing Practices Act litigation and transactional issues, pricing statutes and regulations, and dealership/franchise agreements.

Environmental Counseling: Our environmental and land use attorneys regularly work with clients to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, including assisting with environmental assessments and environmental impact statements to support agency decisions. Our services include appearing before the Oil and Gas Conservation Commissions, obtaining licenses and permits from FERC, local, state and federal siting authorities, and providing advice on compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and a variety of other resource-protection statutes. Our attorneys also advise on a wide range of regulatory matters, including proceedings before the pipeline and hazardous materials safety administration and other federal and state bodies responsible for overseeing environmental regulation and oil and gas development and compliance.

Regulatory: Snell and Wilmer attorneys provide comprehensive regulatory counseling and representation to our clients in the oil and gas industry. Our services include advising on compliance, royalty, leasing, unitization, participating area, drilling and spacing unit issues under the jurisdiction of various federal and state land management and conservation agencies. Our attorneys also handle issues arising from dismantlement, remediation, abandonment and restoration regulatory requirements.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Snell & Wilmer attorneys represent clients in the oil and gas industry with a broad range of matters involving litigation, including disputes related to joint bidding, joint venture, alignment and joint operating agreements. We also assist with disputes related to royalties, terms and other provisions of oil and gas leases. We address contractor and other disputes arising out of surface development construction and operations of oil and gas facilities and infrastructure, and assist with commercial transaction disputes arising out of natural gas, crude oil and product purchase and sales agreements, product and other exchange agreements, and interconnection and transportation agreements.

Real Estate: Our attorneys regularly provide guidance on real estate, land use approvals and siting issues that affect developing and expanding oil and gas projects.

Clients We Serve

Our attorneys represent major and independent oil and gas companies and pipeline companies in all aspects of their operations. We represent companies located throughout the United States on issues that arise close to home, as well as those issues that come up as part of doing business in a national and international industry. Whether the business plan calls for expansion, acquisition or divestiture, our attorneys have the best interests of our clients in mind, and are committed to assisting them with achieving their business goals.

Why Clients Select Us

Comprehensive Service: Snell & Wilmer's oil and gas attorneys are located throughout the United States, making our practice one of the strongest and most interdisciplinary in our region.

Invested in the Industry: Our oil and gas attorneys regularly present at national conferences, and many hold leadership positions in prominent natural resource focused organizations. Participation in these organizations has helped us stay on top of the ever-changing legal landscape in the oil and gas industry.