68th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference

- in Houston, Texas, USA

JW Marriott Houston - Galleria
5150 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77056

Online Registration is closed. Walk-in registrations will be accepted at the conference.

Past Event

Credits:MCLE Credit will be available

Overview

Highlights

  • What lies ahead for Oil and Gas as new President and Congress get down to work?
  • How the “Yates Memo” Affects Company Investigations
  • Changes Incorporated into the AAPL 2015 610 Model Form Joint Operating Agreement
  • How leading General Counsel Tackle the Ethical, Substantive and Practical Challenges Facing the Energy Industry Today

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.

Conference Co-Chairs

J. J. McAnelly, III
Bracewell LLP
Houston, TX

Laura M. Robertson
Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Arbitration
ConocoPhillips Company
Houston, TX

Module Chairs

  • Environmental Module
    Janet L. McQuaid, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Houston, TX
  • Finance/Bankruptcy
    Omer F. "Rick" Kuebel III, Locke Lord LLP, New Orleans, LA
  • International Module
    Michol L. Ecklund, Marathon Oil Corporation, Houston, TX
  • Regulatory/Compliance Module
    Kristi McCarthy, Chevron North America Exploration & Production Co., Houston, TX
  • US Litigation & Dispute Resolution Module
    Julie A. Hardin, Reed Smith LLP, Houston, TX
  • US Transactional Module
    Susan Lindberg, Eni US Operating Co. Inc., Houston, TX

Tuition

Note: Early registration pricing is available through January 30, 2017.

  • $745.00 - Non-Member Registration Fee (*Member dues begin at $650) (Regular Price: $795.00)
  • $535.00 - IEL Supporting or Sustaining Member Employee (Regular Price: $575.00)
  • $535.00 - IEL Young Energy Professional Member (Regular Price: $575.00)
  • $535.00 - CAIL Member or Member Employee (Regular Price: $575.00)
  • $535.00 - Government Employee (Regular Price: $575.00)
  • $150.00 - Full-time Law Student (Regular Price: $150.00)
  • $150.00 - Full-time Law Professor (Regular Price: $150.00)
  • $225.00 - Materials Only - I will not be attending the conference. (Regular Price: $225.00)

Add $150 to receive the course material in a printed binder at the conference.Otherwise, the material will only be provided to you electronically via email. You are welcome to print the online material yourself.

Schedule and Faculty

Thursday, February 16

8:45 am


Welcome and Overview

  • Jay E. Ray, Director, Institute for Energy Law, Plano, Texas
  • J.J. McAnelly, III, Conference Co-Chair, Bracewell LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Laura M. Robertson, Conference Co-Chair, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Arbitration, ConocoPhillips Company, Houston, Texas

9:00 am


Keynote – What lies ahead for Oil and Gas as new President and Congress get down to work?

Key executive appointments, announced Presidential priorities, Cabinet nominations, legislative agendas and the outlook for the Supreme Court reveal what lies ahead in Washington for the industry in 2017. Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, who represented North Dakota during a period of dramatic oil development and now is senior counsel with Alston & Bird law firm in Washington DC, will assess post election developments and forecast likely debates in the Congressional year ahead.

  • Earl Pomeroy, Former Congressman for North Dakota, Alston & Bird LLP, Washington, D.C.

10:00 am


Recent Developments in Oil and Gas Law

This session will feature a review of important cases and other developments in oil and gas law over the last year.

  • Professor Alex Ritchie, Associate Professor of Law, Karelitz Chair in Oil and Gas Law, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

11:00 am


Break

11:20 am


Uncle Sam Wants You: How the “Yates Memo” Affects Company Investigations (Ethics)

Ever since the demise of Arthur Andersen in 2002, DOJ has struggled to define principles for when to prosecute a corporation for the acts of its employees. So we’ve had the “Thompson Memo,” the “McNulty Memo,” the “Filip Memo” … and now the “Yates Memo,” which describes expectations for companies to expose wrongdoing by employees to qualify for “cooperation” credit or leniency from DOJ. This session describes the effect of the Yates Memo on advising companies and individuals and dealing with government investigations and your ethical obligations.

  • David Gerger, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, Houston, Texas

12:20 pm


Networking Luncheon

Thursday Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

US Litigation & Dispute Resolution Module

  • Julie A. Hardin, Reed Smith LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Francisco Rivero, Reed Smith LLP, Houston, Texas

1:30 pm


Losing Ground in Louisiana: Coastal Erosion Litigation and the Impact on the Energy Industry

Litigators and experts at the forefront of the coastal erosion litigation will provide their perspective on the challenges the energy industry faces, current developments, and how the litigation is expected to evolve.

Moderator:

  • Daniella D. Landers, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Houston, Texas

Panelists:

  • Jennifer Ferratt, Chevron, Covington, Louisiana
  • Deborah D. Kuchler, Kuchler Polk Schell Weiner & Richeson LLC, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Chris McLindon, New Orleans Geological Society, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Wilbert J. “Billy” Tauzin, Former U.S. Congressman, Louisiana 3rd Congressional District, Tauzin Consultants, Washington, D.C.

2:15 pm


International Arbitration in Government Contracts and Contracting

This distinguished panel of international arbitration lawyers will explore developments in government contracting in the energy space and identify common pitfalls and best practices, the role of administrative entities, and potential settlement techniques and mechanisms.

  • Noiana Marigo, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, New York, New York
  • Alberto F. Ravell, Senior Legal Counsel - Arbitrations, ConocoPhillips Company, Houston, Texas
  • Francisco Rivero, Reed Smith LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Eugene J. Silva II, Counsel – International Disputes, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston, Texas

3:00 pm


Break

3:15 pm


Royalty Litigation: Recent Trends and What’s on the Horizon?

This program will discuss developments in state and federal royalty litigation, including trends in class action royalty litigation, as well as the recent pronouncements from the Office of Natural Resources Revenue and their expected impact.

Moderator:

  • Joseph G. Thompson III, Watt Thompson & Henneman LLP, Houston, Texas

Panelists:

  • Charles J. “Tim” Engel III, King & Spalding, Washington, DC
  • Mark C. Rodriguez, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Robert J. Sutphin, Jr., Holland & Hart LLP, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Sasha Vaikhman, Associate General Counsel, Linn Energy, LLC, Houston, Texas

4:00 pm


In-House Litigation Roundtable: What Keeps In-House Litigators Up at Night

Panel will discuss recent developments and what is on the horizon in energy litigation, including nuisance claims, earthquake litigation, lessor/lessee disputes/termination, etc.

Moderator:

  • Kenneth E. Broughton, Reed Smith LLP, Houston, Texas

Panelists:

  • Veronica Foley, Sr. Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Precision Drilling Corporation, Houston, Texas
  • Steven G. Gyeszly, Group Counsel – Litigation, Compliance & HR, Marathon Oil Company, Houston, Texas
  • William Noble, Assistant General Counsel, Litigation & Disputes, BP America Inc., Houston, Texas
  • Laura M. Robertson, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Arbitration, ConocoPhillips Company, Houston, Texas

4:45 pm


Adjourn

US Transactional Module

  • Susan Lindberg, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Eni US Operating Co., Inc., Houston, Texas

1:30 pm


Buying and Selling Assets Outside of Bankruptcy

This presentation will cover the sale of a distressed company's assets outside of bankruptcy and will focus on how financial distress affects the typical asset sale of an energy company's assets. Certain items that will be covered include: (a) identifying a distressed seller, (b) risks to the seller or buyer, (c) successor liability issues in asset acquisitions including environmental concerns, (d) asset v. stock sales, (e) fraudulent transfer risks, (f) fiduciary duty issues, (g) shareholder approval, (h) access to seller’s creditors, (i) quality of assets and operations, (j) protection from statutory and tax liens, and (k) strategies that can benefit the seller or buyer.

  • Christopher L. Richardson, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Denver, Colorado

2:15 pm


Reserve-Based Lending: A Brave New World

The market for reserve-based lending has been significantly impacted by the prolonged drop in commodity prices. Restructurings, bankruptcies, increased regulation, and other factors have altered the market landscape considerably. This session will examine the impact of the downturn on borrowers and lenders as they move forward.

  • Dewey J. Gonsoulin Jr., Bracewell LLP, Houston, Texas

3:00 pm


Break

3:15 pm


Changes Incorporated into the AAPL 2015 610 Model Form Joint Operating Agreement

This presentation will discuss the significant changes to the AAPL 2015 Model Operating Agreement and note particular drafting recommendations for the agreement.

  • Jeff Weems, Staff Weems LLP, Houston, Texas

4:00 pm


After the Fall: Current Trends in Upstream A&D Two Years After the 2014 Price Collapse

An update and review of current trends in U.S. Upstream A&D, with a particular focus on counterparty credit considerations, structuring alternatives and diligence considerations.

  • Bryan E. Loocke, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas

4:45 pm


Adjourn

John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner

6:00 pm


Reception

7:00 pm


John Rogers Award Dinner honoring

  • John S. Watson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Chevron Corporation
  • Petroleum Club of Houston
    1201 Louisiana St.
    Houston, Texas

Friday Morning Concurrent Sessions

Friday, February 17

International Module

  • Michol Ecklund, Deputy General Counsel, Marathon Oil Corporation, Houston, Texas

9:00 am


Brexit – What to Expect and How to Prepare

Whether you conduct business in the UK, have suppliers or other business partners in the UK, or have contracts with dispute resolution provisions in the UK, Brexit may change how you do business in the coming years. This panel will cover:

  • Mechanics of Brexit – what are the legal mechanisms by which UK will “exit” the EU, and what should we expect in a post-Brexit world?
  • Trade: How will Brexit impact the import/export of oil and gas, petroleum products, supplies and labor in support of UK and the global energy industry?
  • Disputes: Future of UK as a preferred dispute resolution venue, recognition of UK legal orders, treaty protection, etc.
  • Other corporate matters: Taxes, data protection, competition law, employment, etc.

Moderator:

  • Gavin Williams, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, London, United Kingdom

Panelists:

  • Jessel Gair, Senior Attorney – UK Asset Team, Marathon Oil Company, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
  • Leigh T. Hansson, Reed Smith LLP, London, United Kingdom
  • Constantine Partasides QC, Three Crowns LLP, London, United Kingdom

9:45 am


Host Governments in the Downturn – Challenges for the State and Investors

The recent downturn in the energy industry has put immense pressure on governments whose revenue is highly dependent on the energy sector. Hear from panelists regarding how governments are coping and how their challenges are impacting investors on issues such as:

  • Changing regulatory regimes and enforcement thereof
  • Changing economics and reopening terms
  • Transferring assets and other options to exit investment opportunities
  • New investment opportunities

Moderator:

  • James Lloyd Loftis, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas

Panelists:

  • Kenneth B. Medlock III, James A. Baker, III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Houston, Texas
  • Denmon Sigler, Baker McKenzie, Houston, Texas
  • Carlos A Solé, III, Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, Texas
  • José Luis Vittor, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Houston, Texas

10:30 am


Break

Regulatory/Compliance Module

  • Kristi McCarthy, Managing Counsel, Chevron North American Exploration & Production Company, Houston, Texas

9:00 am


Recent Developments in the SEC’s Whistleblower Enforcement Agenda

  • SEC’s bounty program – with awards of over $100 million to date, what can companies do to encourage internal reporting instead of going straight to the SEC?
  • SEC’s filing of retaliation claims against companies – how to avoid real or perceived retaliation against employees
  • SEC’s aggressive stance on standard agreements that may “muzzle” whistleblowers (e.g., employment agreements, consulting agreements, separation agreements, confidentiality agreements, etc.): changing company agreements to avoid enforcement actions and fines.
  • Renee Phillips, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, New York, New York

9:45 am


Recent Developments in DOJ Antitrust Division’s Criminal Enforcement Program: Cooperation, View of Compliance Programs, Corporate Trials

Recent developments in DOJ Antitrust Division's criminal enforcement program: cooperation, view of compliance programs, corporate trials

  • Antitrust prosecutions of companies: what you need to know about leniency and prosecutorial discretion in antitrust cases
  • Potential antitrust violations in energy businesses - issue-spotting and best practices
  • 2017 - The year ahead - what to expect in US and international enforcement (criminal and civil) in the upcoming year
  • Bruce A. Blefeld, Reed Smith LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Brent C. Snyder, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Enforcement, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC
  • Wendy W. H Waszmer, King & Spalding, New York, New York

10:30 am


Break

Friday Mid-Morning Concurrent Sessions

Finance/Bankruptcy

  • Omer F. “Rick” Kuebel III, Locke Lord LLP, New Orleans, Louisiana

10:45 am


A $40 Billion Dollar Ask: Discussion of New BOEM Financial Security Regulations and Industry’s Response

Discussion to include an overview of the new offshore leasing NTL designed to require funding of $40 billion of financial security from offshore lease operators and interest owners, update on compliance timeline and the tailored plan process and a discussion of the proposed amendments to offshore operating agreements to address the new regulations.

Moderator:

  • Philip Eisenberg, Locke Lord LLP, Houston, Texas

Panelists:

  • J. Keith Couvillion, Land Manager, Chevron USA, Inc., Houston, Texas
  • George Tropiano, BOEM Project Manager – Risk Management Operations, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, New Orleans, Louisiana

11:30 am


Deleveraging Energy Companies to Survive Depressed Commodity Prices

Case studies in debt to equity conversions in bankruptcy (and some recent examples like Energy XXI) and “out of court” deleveraging through rights offerings and other financial restructuring options (and some recent examples). Session will include “lessons learned” and practice pointers on key considerations for restructuring energy companies and the ramifications on counterparties.

  • Andrew R. Karp, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Harry A. Perrin, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas

12:15 pm


Deans of Oil and Gas Practice Lecture and Luncheon

Environmental Module

  • Janet McQuaid, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Houston, Texas

10:45 am


Trends from the Trenches: Enforcement, Public Participation, and Citizen Suits

Discussion regarding oil and gas permitting and enforcement trends such as environmental regulatory agencies’ use of enforcement to obtain extra-regulatory air emission reductions in consent orders; non-governmental organizations’ participation in permitting oil and gas projects; and recent developments in citizen suit litigation.

Moderator:

  • Carolyn Covault, Senior Consulting Attorney, Safety and Environmental, EOG Resources Inc., Houston, Texas

Panelists:

  • Jennifer Keane, Baker Botts L.L.P., Austin, Texas
  • Jim Martin, Beatty & Wozniak, P.C., Denver, Colorado

11:15 am


The More Things Change? Effect of the Elections on Environmental Law and Policy

Discussion regarding the implications of the November 2016 elections on environmental and oil and gas regulatory agencies’ priorities and personnel as well as on pending and future legislation and rulemaking applicable to oil and gas activities.

Moderator:

  • Lucian Pugliaresi, President, Energy Policy Research Foundation, Washington, DC

Panelists:

  • Chuck Knauss, Hunton & Williams, Washington, DC
  • Matt Leggett, Deputy Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Washington, DC

11:55 am


All Good Things Must End: Decommissioning Oil and Gas Facilities

Discussion regarding abandonment and retirement of offshore oil and gas facilities under US environmental law, financial assurance requirements, and the impact of bankruptcy.

Moderator:

  • Edward Clark Lewis, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Houston, Texas

Panelist:

  • Mary W. Koks, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C., Houston, Texas

12:15 pm


Deans of Oil and Gas Practice Lecture and Luncheon

IEL Forum

10:45 am


IEL Forum

An unscripted opportunity to discuss current issues in energy practice.

  • Kelli Jones, Lead Counsel, General Litigation and LHOs, ConocoPhillips Company, Houston, Texas
  • Ryan J. Morgan, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Charleston, West Virginia

12:15 pm


Deans of Oil and Gas Practice Lecture and Luncheon

Friday Afternoon Schedule and Faculty

12:15 pm


Deans of Oil and Gas Practice Lecture and Luncheon

  • Professor Jacqueline Weaver, A.A. White Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas

1:45 pm


Conspiracy Theory? The Ethical Paradox of “Big is Bad”

There was a time when “big business”, and the “big professions” that support it, were revered for their contributions to society. Those contributions continue today, yet “big” is often vilified in the public eye. This presentation will explore some recurring themes in this area, from the dark clouds of conspiracy theories to media and political portrayals, and highlight ways in which ethics and professionalism might lead everyone “big” out of the storm.

  • Arnold Johnson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Noble Energy, Inc., Houston, Texas

2:45 pm


General Counsel Panel: How leading General Counsel Tackle the Ethical, Substantive and Practical Challenges Facing the Energy Industry Today

As multinational corporations in the energy sector face an increasingly complex legal world, they rely ever more on General Counsel to provide guidance and develop new and reliable legal strategies. In this panel, leading General Counsel will discuss the ethical and professional challenges they face in meeting these challenges.

Moderator:

  • Prof. Catherine Rogers, Professor of Law and Paul and Marjorie Price Faculty Scholar and Professor of Ethics, Regulation & The Rule of Law, Penn State Law, State College, Pennsylvania

Panelists:

  • Randall M. Ebner, Vice President and General Counsel, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Irving, Texas
  • Saamir Elshihabi, Associate General Counsel, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Houston, Texas
  • R. Hewitt Pate, Vice President and General Counsel, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, California

3:45 pm


Adjourn

CLE Credit

MCLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for a total of 11 hours, including 2 hours of ethics. Course ID Number: 901365496. Credit hours for other states will vary and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.

For this conference, IEL will directly apply (if requested) for course accreditation in the following states: California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Some of these states may not approve a program for credit hours before the program occurs. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states. IEL conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states.

Hotel Information

The cost of housing is not included in tuition. However, rooms (in limited number) have been reserved at the JW Marriott Hotel, 5150 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77056. Registrants should call 1.800.228.9290 and advise them they are attending the "IEL – Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference" to receive a reduced room rate of $199 ++ per night. The last day to obtain this special rate is January 24, 2017.

BOOK HOTEL ONLINE

Sponsorship Opportunities

John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner - $6,000 each (Limited to 11) - SOLD OUT
The Petroleum Club of Houston
February 16, 2017

  • Recognition in the conference brochure, which will be mailed and emailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the conference program
  • Recognition on the conference website and via social media
  • Recognition at the conference, including orally and via signage at the luncheon
  • Recognition at the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • 2 complimentary registrants at the conference, including the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • Up to 8 guests at the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • One reserved table at the dinner, if desired
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the conference

Advisory Board Dinner Headline Sponsorship - $4,000 (Only 1 Allowed) - SOLD OUT

  • Recognition in the conference brochure, which will be mailed and emailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the conference program
  • Recognition on the conference website and via social media
  • Recognition at the Advisory Board Dinner, including orally and via signage at the dinner
  • 2 complimentary registrants at the conference, including the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • Up to 4 guests at the Advisory Board Dinner
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference.

Wi-Fi Sponsor - $3,000 (Only 1 Allowed) - SOLD OUT

  • Name/Logo reflected in wi-fi access code
  • Prominent recognition on the conference background slide
  • Recognition in the conference brochure, which will be mailed and emailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the conference program
  • 2 complimentary registrants at the conference, including the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the conference

Conference Binder Sponsor - $3,500 (Only 1 Allowed) - SOLD OUT

  • Single page company/firm advertisement on the back of the conference material binder that will be distributed to all registrants
  • Recognition in the conference brochure, which will be mailed and emailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the conference program
  • Recognition on the conference website and via social media
  • 2 complimentary registrants at the conference, including the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the conference

Canvas Bag - $3,000 each (Only 3 Allowed) - SOLD OUT

  • Name/Logo on one side of canvas bag
  • Recognition in the conference brochure, which will be mailed and emailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the conference program
  • Recognition on the conference website
  • 1 complimentary registrant at the conference, including the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the conference.

Networking Luncheon - $3,000 each
February 16, 2017

  • Recognition in the conference brochure, which will be mailed and emailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the conference program
  • Recognition on the conference website and via social media
  • Recognition at the luncheon, including orally and via signage
  • 1 complimentary registrant at the conference including the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • Up to 2 guests at the luncheon
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the conference

Deans of Oil and Gas Practice Lecture Luncheon -$3,000 each
February 17, 2017
Lecture presented by Jacqueline L. Weaver, A.A. White Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center

  • Recognition in the conference brochure, which will be mailed and emailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the conference program
  • Recognition on the conference website and via social media
  • Recognition at the luncheon, including orally and via signage
  • 1 complimentary registrant at the conference including the John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner
  • Up to 2 guests for the luncheon
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the conference

Exhibitor - $1,500 each
February 16-17, 2017

  • Space to display company/firm materials at the conference.
  • Name/logo on Conference website with link to company page.

Other Information

Press Policy

All IEL conferences are held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants, including journalists, are free to use any information received, but comments may not be attributed to any speaker identifi ed by name or affiliation.

Nondiscriminatory Policy

The Center for American and International Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected status in educational activities, scholarship programs or admissions.

Registrar: +1.972.244.3404
IEL: +1.972.244.3421
Fax: +1.972.244.3401
E-Mail: iel@cailaw.org

John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner Sponsors

Advisory Board Dinner Sponsor

Deans of Oil & Gas Practice Lecture Luncheon Sponsors

Networking Luncheon Sponsors

WiFi Sponsor

Conference Binder Sponsor

Canvas Bag Sponsors

Exhibitors