Energy, Oil and Gas
The firm’s Houston-based energy practice group represents domestic and international oil-and-gas companies in a wide variety of energy-related matters. Our clients include some of the most innovative, diverse, and successful energy companies in the nation and around the world. We work with major and independent oil-and-gas companies, chemical companies, energy service companies, financial institutions, investors, and private equity funds.
We place a special emphasis on litigation and dispute resolution. The group’s trial lawyers make a point, first and foremost, of cultivating an intimate understanding of our clients’ business priorities in litigated matters. This often allows us to formulate creative, cost-effective strategies for defusing our clients’ legal problems outside the courtroom. In this way, we help our clients avoid or abbreviate litigation, conserve resources, and preserve valuable business relationships.
We make a habit of deploying targeted discovery and forceful motion practice to neutralize disputes in their infancy. At the same time, our energy litigators routinely take cases to trial, and our adversaries are sensitized to our ability and willingness to fight tenaciously in the courtroom and all the way through verdict.
We bring to the table practical experience in the energy sector that is simultaneously broad and deep, encompassing a variety of related issues including but not limited to:
- Title issues
- Seismic-related disputes
- Drilling operations and surface damages
- Royalty underpayments
- Offset drilling and development
- Bad-faith pooling
- Cessation of production
- Lease termination
Our veteran energy litigators spearhead all types of complex litigation, including class actions and federal multi-district litigation. In particular, royalty disputes and other species of contested mineral interests have become a hotbed for hard-fought litigation in the energy sector. Royalty lawsuits can easily encompass hundreds or even thousands of mineral owners, and our firm has the knowledge needed to navigate both the merits and class certification issues that arise in these large-scale controversies. The trial lawyers in our energy group are regularly on the front lines of large, high-stakes matters involving allegations of the underpayment and miscalculation of royalties; violations of continuous drilling and development obligations; and improper deductions for transportation, processing, and other post-production expenses. Our group members’ diverse industry background also includes advising E&Ps and pipeline companies in mineral trespass and surface-use disputes, and in related proceedings for emergency and preliminary injunctive relief. Additionally, when royalties and other mineral interests are hotly contested, our energy litigators deftly capitalize on the intricacies that drive title controversies and deed-construction cases to successful conclusions.
We often assist operators and oilfield service providers in disputes surrounding the breach of supply, service, and confidentiality agreements and the theft and misappropriation of trade secrets. When mineral owners are impossible to find, or when they finally emerge after long absences, our energy lawyers help oil-and-gas companies establish, administer, and wind down mineral and royalty receiverships to ensure that time-sensitive operations are never impeded by missing or emerging interest owners. And, in the event business relationships sour, the energy litigation team at KRCL has earned a reputation for diplomatically—and, when push comes to shove, aggressively—resolving disagreements among joint interest partners and other collaborators in the oil patch.
Furthermore, our lawyers are at the forefront of employment law in the energy industry. We have worked arm-in-arm with energy companies over decades and know the businesses of our clients—from the largest operators to the smallest oilfield service companies. We leverage this knowledge to capably traverse the ever-changing legal challenges lying at the intersection of employment law and the energy sector.
Our attorneys frequently advise on compensation and overtime (including oilfield day rate, salary, and hybrid schemes); onboarding, discipline, and termination; HR policies and procedures; reductions in force; executive agreements; OSHA planning and violations; and discrimination and other unfair labor practices. Our goal in each case is to deliver advice tailored to our client’s specific operational and business needs. When litigation is required, our talented team of employment litigators act with speed and deliberate intention. Our labor-and-employment clients in the oil-and-gas industry rely on us to craft creative litigation solutions to achieve their case-specific goals.
Finally, we stay ahead of the curve by offering our clients practical guidance on emerging issues like the shifting landscape surrounding the calculation and payment of royalties, including recommended revisions to royalty payment procedures and other best practices aimed at solving problems before they metastasize into costly, full-stroke litigation. By taking proactive measures such as these, our energy lawyers help their clients steer clear of litigation or, at a minimum, strategically position them when litigation cannot be avoided.