Pre-Conference Workshops – September 11, 2013

Oilfield Leasing Crash Course: Everything Landmen, Businesspeople, and New Attorneys Should Know About Oil and Gas Leases

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Registration and Continental Breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m.)

Greg Nibert
Hinkle, Hensley, Shanor & Martin, L.L.P. (Roswell, NM)

Every clause in an oil and gas lease can have a potential impact on your company. In the competitive oil and gas exploration world, ensure you have the paramount knowledge of the basic terms of an oil and gas lease to protect your company. This workshop will present the top 10 things you should know about an oil and gas lease. Instructors will walk through the basic terms of a typical lease and then will focus on the top 10 issues that arise from the lease’s clauses of which you must be aware and understand. Some oil and gas lease forms may not be appropriate for the type of anticipated production in a particular area. In this day of computer generated forms and ease of drafting and inserting revisions to generally understood lease forms require mineral owners, landmen, lawyers, title and lease analysts to recognize how revisions can greatly alter the way a court may interpret the lease. This interactive session will allow you to ask questions and hone your oil and gas lease expertise.

12:00 Lunch for Attendees of both Workshop A & B

Defending Environmental Claims of Surface and Groundwater Contamination in the Oilfield

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.)

Daria Burgess Diaz
Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C. (New Orleans, LA)

Daniel J. Dunn
Hogan Lovells US LLP (Denver, CO)

Gerald F. Slattery, Jr.
Slattery, Marino & Roberts (New Orleans, LA)

Loulan J. Pitre, Jr.
Gordon Arata McCollam Duplantis & Eagan LLC (New Orleans, LA)

Once the wellhead is closed on drilling sites, liability does not cease. In fact, there is a glut of litigation (in Louisiana particularly) that centers around contamination following drilling activities. This session will provide a playbook of defense strategies for handling these “legacy” contamination cases, and indemnity and insurance issues that often arise in that context. Topics addressed will include:

  • Understanding the current state of Louisiana’s Act 312 of 2006
    • What was the outcome of the legislative reexamination of the Act?
  • Developing arguments to combat an incredibly high damages model in legacy contamination cases
  • Honing trial strategy in legacy litigation to combat outcomes that are one extreme or the other in terms of damages
    • Knowing when to settle and when to try the case
  • Devising defenses against nuisance claims for surface and groundwater damage
    • Understanding the implications of CERCLA on former owners and operators: liability does not terminate with ownership
    • Combating trends imposing virtually strict liability for nuisance damages and the subsequent remediation requirements that follow
  • Defending against unique environmental damage claims discrete to unconventional gas drilling operations
    • Identifying potential environmental pollution liability resulting from fracking operations
    • The impact of federal and state legislation dealing with fracking disclosure requirements on litigation of environmental claims
  • General Principles of Indemnity in Louisiana
    • When indemnity cause of action accrues
    • Is the indemnitee’s own negligence covered by the indemnity obligation? What about the indemnitee’s contractual indemnity obligations to other parties?
    • Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act
    • Recovery of attorney’s fees—for defending the underlying claim and for pursuing indemnity
  • General Louisiana Insurance Principles
    • Duty to defend, and extent of same
    • Additional Insured status
    • Penalty statutes—failure to process or pay claims