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 shale practice 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 shale practice 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 shale 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 nearly 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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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.

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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North America Shale Blog
Alaska Passes North Slope Pipeline Liquefied Natural Gas Bill
April 24, 2014
On Monday, Alaska’s legislature approved Senator Sean Parnell’s plan to join four energy companies in moving ahead on plans to build infrastructure to transport and market 35 trillion cubic feet of North Slope gas to be shipped by an...
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North America Shale Blog
Colorado House Advances Bill Requiring Study of Fracking Impact Along Colorado Front Range
April 18, 2014
The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that would require a study of the health impact of fracking in Colorado.  The bill, House Bill 1297, passed with all Democratic Representatives, and one Republican...
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North America Shale Blog
Ohio Links Earthquakes to Fracking, Toughens Drilling Rules Near Fault Lines
April 15, 2014
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is tightening permit conditions for horizontal drillers after a report from state geologists found a “probable connection” between hydraulic fracturing and a string of small earthquakes near...
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North America Shale Blog
Colorado Supreme Court Grants to Consider Use of Lone Pine Orders in Toxic Tort Case Involving Hydraulic Fracturing
April 10, 2014
On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court granted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Antero Resources, et al. v. Strudley, et al.  The Strudley case involves claims relating to alleged injuries from natural gas drilling operations near the...
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North America Shale Blog
Development of Horizontal Drilling Techniques Drives Global Demand for Associated Fluids and Chemicals
April 9, 2014
Research and Markets, a leading international market research and market data firm, has released its report on Global Trends and Forecasts for Fracking Chemicals and Fluid Markets. The report estimates that the global fracking fluids...
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