Shale

"When the issues are broader or involve multistate jurisdictions, the firm's size and networking firepower have been incredibly helpful."
– Chambers USA 2013

The oil and gas industry in the United States is thriving and shale formations across the country, accessible using hydraulic fracturing techniques, have been driving the boom. While hydraulic fracturing has and will continue to receive scrutiny, the direct and indirect benefits to the U.S. economy will enable the deployment to increase rapidly in the coming years.

BakerHostetler’s 80-attorney Energy team is comprised of lawyers across the U.S. who are leaders in their respective fields in representing oil and gas clients. We have:

  • A unique understanding of the industry’s rapidly evolving regulatory, legal, and political climate. We litigate cases that are shaping this game-changing field, and we stay abreast of current trends, developments, and changes in regulations, among other things. Through our blog (www.NorthAmericaShaleBlog.com), we offer timely information and advice related to new industry developments.
  • Experience across all the proven shale plays. Our multidisciplinary, multistate team leverages the collective experience of our national energy, environmental, business, tax, government affairs, and litigation practices to help clients fully capitalize on the development of oil and gas resources across North America.
  • Dedicated transactions team with oil and gas experience. We have dedicated lawyers who focus on the acquisition and divesture of shale-related properties and leases with expertise on critical due diligence matters and unique legal issues in emerging shale plays.
  • Unmatched ability to represent clients at all points in the energy life cycle, from the initial communications with landowners and community and public interest groups, to acquisitions and exploration drilling, and into the production, processing, and divestitures of assets.
  • Fluency in the broader energy industry. We serve energy companies domestically and around the world, representing industry leaders in some of their largest local and international transactions. With energy lawyers in 11 offices across the United States, we speak the language and understand the business. Many of our lawyers have technical degrees and have worked in-house with major energy players.
  • Tested and proven experience on siting energy infrastructure. We have represented clients on legal issues related to the siting of a variety of energy infrastructure projects, including natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil pipelines, processing facilities, power plants, and transmission lines.
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BakerHostetler’s dedicated Energy team is positioned to help clients seize the opportunities afforded by this rapidly evolving industry while avoiding the pitfalls.

Strategic Thinking

In an ever-increasing number of shale development disputes, those who support the use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and natural gas are positioned as anti-environmental. We believe the most successful energy companies will be those that join with interested stakeholders to proactively adopt appropriate environmental safeguards and fully educate the public about how oil and gas development creates jobs, improves infrastructure, lowers energy prices, alleviates long-term energy needs, and reduces dependence on unreliable foreign suppliers.

Oil and Gas Counseling and Transactions

Our Energy lawyers routinely advise clients on various types of business matters and transactions, including:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Joint venture structuring
  • Drilling programs and compliance with securities requirements
  • Financing options—including public offerings and private placement of equity and debt
  • Contract/agreement development
  • Regulatory compliance counseling
  • Evaluation of shale play investment opportunities
  • Environmental matters
  • Water rights and sourcing
  • Real estate and leasing
  • Government relations
  • Antitrust claims
Administrative Issues

We provide knowledgeable counsel on the entire spectrum of emerging administrative issues concerning:

  • Permitting processes
  • Documentation requirements
  • Emergency response
  • Allegations of non-compliance
Litigation

As the new industry evolves—and as the stakes get higher—our litigation team has the knowledge and experience to help clients face challenges in such areas as:

  • Lease title disputes
  • Facility and equipment construction and engineering disputes—delays, cost overruns, and negligence
  • Production issues—well blow-outs, equipment failures, and product liability claims
  • Environmental lawsuits—leaks, spills, permitting disputes, and contamination
  • Product transport—pipeline damage, leaks, spills, collisions, and derailments
  • Personnel issues—OSHA claims, workers compensation, and civil claims
  • Contractual disputes
Ancillary Services

As a full-service law firm with more than 900 lawyers across 14 offices, we are able to provide legal services and advice to oil and gas companies in other legal disciplines that may affect their business and operations, including international, maritime, hospitality, labor and employment, healthcare, and intellectual property.

Select Experience

  • Represented an oil field services provider in a dispute arising out of an uncontrolled release of fracturing fluid during a 15-stage fracturing job in the Marcellus Shale. The litigation involved products liability, regulatory compliance, and environmental issues.
  • Represented an energy company in its securities matters in the U.S. relating to its activities in shale-producing plays and patenting its technology relating to increased drainage of highly viscous oil.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Gary M. Alletag Partner Houston
Mark S. Barron Partner Denver
Jack A. Bjerke Partner Columbus
Martin T. Booher Partner Cleveland
Donald W. Brodsky Partner Houston
Marie L. Carlisle Partner Houston
Casie D. Collignon Partner Denver
Cory M. Curtis Partner Houston
Douglas D. D'Arche Partner Houston
W. John English Jr. Partner Houston
Paul S. Francis Partner Houston
Harold H. Fullmer Partner Philadelphia
Daniel J. Gunsett Partner Columbus
Lori A. Herf Senior Advisor Columbus
Victoria L. Johnson Counsel Cleveland
Michael P. Joy Partner Denver
L. Poe Leggette Partner Denver
Christopher H. Marraro Partner Washington, D.C.
Laura J. McMahon Partner Houston
Sameer V. Mohan Partner Houston
James H. Nye Partner Houston
John W. Petrelli III Partner Houston
Tara E. Romero Associate Houston
W. Robert Shearer Partner Houston
Amy M. Shepherd Partner Columbus
Glen Shu Partner Houston
Richard T. (Tom) Stilwell Partner Houston
Cody T. Vasut Associate Houston
Peter C. Whitfield Associate Washington, D.C.
W. Ray Whitman Partner Houston
James C. Winton Partner Houston

Experience

  • Represented an oil field services provider in a dispute arising out of an uncontrolled release of fracturing fluid during a 15-stage fracturing job in the Marcellus Shale. The litigation involved products liability, regulatory compliance, and environmental issues.
  • Represented an energy company in its securities matters in the U.S. relating to its activities in shale-producing plays and patenting its technology relating to increased drainage of highly viscous oil.
  • Represented producers in the assignment of leasehold deed rights in the Utica Shale, as well as representing clients in acquiring oil and gas leases in Ohio and joint venturing the drilling of wells.
  • Represented groups in the acquisition of options on tens of thousands of acres in the Utica Shale play in Ohio. This work involves negotiation of the options and the terms of the joint venture that would apply if the options are exercised.

Recognition

  • BTI Client Service 30: BakerHostetler advanced 19 positions to #9 (2016)

News

Press Releases

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In The Blogs

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North America Shale Blog
Crude-by-Rail Update: Largest West Coast Terminal Proposal Suffocating Under Delay
By Alexander K. Obrecht
April 20, 2016
The largest proposed crude-by-rail (CBR) transloading facility on the West Coast recently survived a major hurdle to its ultimate construction and operation—a lease extension. But with the proposed project enduring nearly three years of...
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North America Shale Blog
Colorado House Votes Down Bill Giving Local Authorities Power Over Fracking
April 5, 2016
Two Democrats joined the Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives on April 4, 2016, to defeat a bill that sought to assert local government control over oil and gas drilling. Drilling operations in Colorado have begun moving...
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North America Shale Blog
Moratorium on New Oil and Gas Operations Lifted in Adams County
March 24, 2016
On Tuesday, Adams County, Colorado, commissioners lifted a six-week moratorium on new oil and gas drilling operations in urban areas. The moratorium, previously approved by the county commissioners in early February following contentious...
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North America Shale Blog
Options to Help Oklahoma Alleviate Its Emerging Oilfield Water Crisis
By Gabriel B. Collins
March 22, 2016
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has restricted injection well activity over a combined zone of nearly 10,000 square miles—approximately the size of Massachusetts (Exhibit 1). In Central Oklahoma, the OCC seeks to reduce water injection...
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North America Shale Blog
Pennsylvania Jury Awards $4.2 Million in Groundwater Contamination Case
March 11, 2016
On Thursday, a federal jury in Pennsylvania ordered Cabot Oil & Gas to pay more than $4.2 million in damages to two Pennsylvania families who sued in 2009 alleging that the Texas-based company’s drilling operations contaminated local...
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