Oil & Gas/Energy

Cotten Schmidt, L.L.P.’s energy attorneys provide comprehensive legal services to businesses and individuals alike in all aspects of the energy industry, including transactional, litigation, and regulatory matters.  Armed with the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to advise our clients on the wide range of issues unique to the energy industry, we are able to effectively and efficiently handle the diverse, highly-specialized issues involved in structuring and documenting energy transactions as well as in litigating a multitude of energy-related issues.

Our attorneys serve as trusted counsel to a diverse array of clients, including oil and gas exploration and production companies, energy investment groups, well stimulation and hydraulic fracturing companies, midstream companies, electric utilities, energy brokers, alternative energy providers, and a wide variety of individuals, businesses, and non-profit entities holding oil, gas, and other mineral interests.

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We have extensive expertise negotiating and drafting complex and highly technical oil and gas leases, easements, right-of-way agreements, and surface use agreements, focusing not only on bonus and royalty payments but also on protecting surface owners’ rights, including the location of drilling pad sites, flow line placement, road access, surface water use, and noise issues.  We also routinely advise our energy clients on day-to-day legal issues that arise in the operation and governance of their businesses, including various regulatory and estate planning issues.

In addition to transactional issues, our attorneys have significant experience representing clients in a wide variety of energy-related litigation matters, including disputes involving oil and gas royalty payments, protected oil and gas trade secrets (including seismic data), trespass claims, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, joint interest billings and audits, and a multitude of energy-related contract and lease issues.  We also provide legal counsel to landowners facing eminent domain actions (including condemnation proceedings brought by pipeline companies seeking easements across the real property), having successfully represented landowners in administrative hearings before panels of Special Commissioners as well as in appealing Special Commissioners’ awards after the hearing process.

We represent clients in virtually all areas of energy, including:

  • Negotiating, drafting, and litigating mineral leases, surface use agreements, drilling and service contracts, and operating agreements

  • Royalty and bonus disputes

  • Surface use disputes, including damage claims arising from drilling and production operations

  • Mineral ownership, conveyancing, and title disputes

  • Eminent domain/condemnation actions

  • Pooling and unitization claims

  • Lease operation and development disputes

  • Lease termination claims and leases savings provisions

  • Working interest and executive rights disputes