Houston is the global center of the oil and gas industry, and members of the firm have inevitably been engaged on numerous oil and gas disputes, including cases relating to the exploration, production, refining, and marketing of oil and natural gas.
Exploration and Production
We have represented numerous oil and gas exploration and production companies in claims filed by royalty owners or groups of royalty owners making claims for the underpayment of royalties, underdevelopment of their properties, or the cancellation of oil and gas leases due to underpayment or underdevelopment. We have also represented operators in joint operating agreement disputes with non-operating working interest owners, including COPAS disputes. We have represented joint owners or non-operating interest holders in disputes relating to the usurpation of opportunities of the parties to an area of mutual interest agreement. We have represented reserve companies against claims of fraud, securities fraud and negligence arising out of their professional judgments represented in their reserve reports.
Finally, we have represented the owner of a mesne overriding royalty interest assignment in over 300 oil and gas leases in tracing and enforcing its rights to overriding royalties and for underpayment of royalties in a multi-county prospect area over a 60-year period.
We have represented parties in the enforcement of their interests under production payment agreements, as well as the enforcement of those production payment agreements as against secured creditors of record in the properties under dispute. We have also negotiated work-out arrangements concerning the return of properties subject to financing agreements that did not generate sufficient cash flow to meet scheduled principal and interest payments.
Refining and Processing
We have represented co-venturers in the development of natural gas processing facilities in a dispute over cost overruns relating to the development. We have represented natural gas processors and transporters in disputes relating to the interpretation of their agreements, as well as the defense of cases claiming the conversion or misappropriation of natural gas liquids or other proceeds of the processing plant. We have represented natural gas processors in connection with disputes over the interpretation of agreements dedicating reserves to particular plants as well as in disputes of interpretation concerning the rates to be charged for the processing of natural gas and natural gas liquids. Finally, we have represented natural gas processors in connection with disputes in bankruptcy over the acceptance or rejection of their long-term processing agreements and the resulting claims arising from such attempted rejections.