Energy Law

66th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference


Houston, Texas, USA

Past Event

MCLE Credit will be available

Hyatt Regency Houston - Downtown
1200 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002

Registrar: +1.972.244.3404
IEL: +1.972.244.3421
Fax: +1.972.244.3401



  • NEW THIS YEAR - Water Module
  • NEW THIS YEAR - IP and Technology Module
  • Enforcement Risk Management
  • Royalty Litigation
  • Crisis in Ukraine
  • New Gulf Regulatory Regime
  • Ethics of Litigation Funding for Profit

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.

Conference Co-Chairs

Curtis Frasier
Distinguished Visiting Dorwart Chair in Energy Law
University of Tulsa College of Law
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Michael P. Lennon
Mayer Brown LLP
Houston, Texas

Schedule and Faculty

Thursday, February 19

8:45 am

Welcome and Overview

9:00 am

Keynote: Mountains and Oceans: A Look at Possible 21st Century Energy Landscapes

For over 40 years, Shell has informed its strategic thinking with future-looking scenarios based on global economic, political, cultural and technological trends. Its current scenarios look further into the future through a broader array of lenses than ever before. Some of their pathways and paradoxes may surprise you.

  • Niel Golightly, Vice President External Relations, Shell Oil, Houston, Texas 

10:00 am

Recent Developments in Oil and Gas Law

Professor Kulander will review important cases and other developments in oil and gas law over the last year.

  • Chris Kulander, Associate Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas

11:00 am


11:20 am

Ethics Presentation: Nudging Better Behavior in Organizations

How social science can lead to more ethical behavior in law firms.

  • Nancy B. Rapoport, Senior Advisor to the UNLV President, Gordon Silver Professor of Law, William S. Boyd School of Law, Affiliate Professor of Business Law and Ethics, Lee Business School, Las Vegas, Nevada

12:20 pm

Networking Luncheon

Track 1

U.S. Litigation Module

  • William Knull, Module Chair
    Mayer Brown LLP, Houston, Texas

1:30 pm

Connecting the Issue: North Dakota Royalty Litigation Flares Up

This presentation will provide an overview of the flaring in North Dakota, and then dig into the recently-dismissed class-action flaring royalty claims made against fourteen different exploration and production companies operating in North Dakota. We will assess the underlying claims and defenses, and the governing judicial, statutory and regulatory framework in North Dakota. As the Bakken/Three Forks play matures and local political pressure increases on industry operations in North Dakota, many of the lessons learned in defending these royalty claims will be helpful in navigating future oil & gas litigation in the Williston Basin and beyond.

  • Matthew J. Salzman, Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Kansas City, Missouri

2:15 pm

Frac Bans and Moratoriums: A Growing Threat, and What to Do About Them

This presentation will look at the issue of frac bans and moratoriums. More than 400 cities and other communities have passed ordinances or regulations that ban or severely limit hydraulic fracturing. Our speakers will discuss these ordinances and regulations, the potential claims that might be asserted by affected oil and gas operators and mineral interest owners, and how courts have addressed the legality of these provisions and the merits of the claims.

  • William M. Kroger, Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, Texas
  • Thomas R. Phillips, Retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, Baker Botts L.L.P., Austin, Texas

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Offshore Exploration & Production: Issues and Challenges of Varying Depths

Recent liquidity, operational and other problems faced by oil and gas companies have had a significant and material ripple effect on rights, exposure, and burdens of other parties active in the offshore industry. Unlike the environmental, risk and protective changes resulting from the Macondo incident, this presentation will focus on the issues that exist when offshore businesses run into liquidity or other problems and the material effects they may have on other, perhaps unsuspecting, parties from predecessor owners to investors to service providers to regulatory agencies. What are the warning signs and what protections can be put in place?

  • Charles S. Kelley, Mayer Brown LLP, Houston, Texas

4:00 pm

The Hottest Oil & Gas Claims for 2015 -- and How to Beat Them

Changes in the oil and gas industry beget new things for operators, royalty owners, and others to fight about. Cases relating to unconventional oil and gas, for instance, spiked 69% in 2013, and they continue to surge. What can you do to protect yourself and your company? A plaintiff's lawyer and a former in-house lawyer give the claimants' and defendants' perspectives on the hottest oil and gas claims you'll see in 2015.
  • Barry Barnett, Susman Godfrey L.L.P., Dallas, Texas
  • Laura Abrahamson, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Los Angeles, California

4:45 pm


Track 2

Water Module

  • Russell S. Johnson, Module Chair
    McGinnis Lochridge, Austin, Texas

1:30 pm

Water and Oil & Gas

Our panel will consider three important aspects of water:

  • Access, availability and alternatives
  • Disposal and recycling
  • Quality, including the role of ground water conservation districts


  • Russell S. Johnson, McGinnis Lochridge, Austin, Texas


  • Leonard H. Dougal, Jackson Walker, Austin, Texas
  • Tim George, McGinnis Lochridge, Austin, Texas

3:00 pm


International Module

  • Alex G. MacWilliam, Module Chair
    Dentons, Calgary, Alberta

3:15 pm

Coming to America meets Out of Africa

This discussion will compare and contrast the legal and business issues faced by a U.S. energy company operating in Africa and a South African energy company doing business in North America. Senior in-house counsel with Noble Energy Inc. and Sasol North America Inc. will describe the challenges faced by energy companies when they move into foreign jurisdictions and will highlight how differing business cultures can impact legal matters.

  • Peter A. Hutcheson, Associate General Counsel, International, Noble Energy, Houston, Texas
  • Sean A. Ralph, Associate General Counsel – US Mega Projects, Sasol North America, Inc., Houston, Texas

4:00 pm

Crisis in Ukraine: Impacts on International Energy Sector

Recent events in Ukraine have heightened concerns as to European energy security and have potential for impacts beyond the Continent. This presentation is intended to provide energy lawyers with an update on the political and economic situation and insight into the ramifications for the energy sector from a legal and regulatory perspective.
  • Myron B. Rabij, Partner and Head of Ukraine Energy & Natural Resources Practice, Dentons LLP, Kiev/New York
  • Mikhail Afendikov, Executive Chairman and CEO, CUB Energy Inc., Houston, Texas

4:45 pm


6:00 pm

The John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner


  • Richard D. Kinder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kinder Morgan, Houston, Texas

Friday, February 20

Track 1

U.S. Transactional Module

  • J. Denmon Sigler, Module Chair
    Winston & Strawn LLP, Houston, Texas

9:00 am

Dispute Resolution Clauses: What Every Deal Lawyer Needs to Know

This presentation will provide a comparative analysis of the pros and cons of litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes to resolve contractual disputes in oil and gas agreements.

  • John B. Strasburger, Winston & Strawn LLP, Houston, Texas

9:45 am

Mitigating Risk in Offshore Exploration and Development Activities

Operational and regulatory changes and activity to address the risks unique to offshore drilling have led to changes in contracting terms and strategy for operators and owners of offshore resources. This presentation will focus on contracting strategies to allocate and mitigate risk in offshore exploration and development activities from the operator and owner perspective.
  • Jill S. Greene, Associate General Counsel/Director - Corporate Transactions & U.S. Securities Transocean Ltd., Houston, Texas

10:30 am


Intellectual Property and Technology Module

  • Bruce S. Sostek, Module Chair
    Thompson & Knight LLP, Dallas, Texas

10:45 am

Oil and Gas Companies as Technology Companies, and How Technology and IP Drive the Industry.

Advanced technology is increasingly being used to enhance the objectives of the petroleum business in almost every area. But what is meant by “advanced technology” as it relates to breakthroughs in information infrastructure, communication, and processing in the big data age? Exploration techniques and equipment, oil rigs, vessels, and refineries are getting smarter and better connected every year. New technologies that do not appear to be directly related to oil and gas are being evaluated by the industry and implemented to reduce costs, gain efficiency, improve safety and increase environmental protections. How do, and how will these advances in intellectual property and technology continue to drive the industry?

  • Todd A. Bynum, Lead Counsel, Technology and IP Analytics, ConocoPhillips Legal Dept., Houston, Texas

11:15 am

The Intersection of Technology and IP Enforcement in the Oil and Gas Industry

Many oilfield equipment and services providers are focused on developing and commercializing innovations in order to obtain a competitive advantage and increase sales. Enforcement of associated IP rights has come to the forefront as a means of further protecting commercial advantages in a hyper-competitive marketplace. What IP enforcement methodologies are available, and what are the potential risks and rewards? What types of patented technologies have been enforced through the litigation stage? Recent trends and issues related to the enforcement of IP rights in the oil and gas services sector will be highlighted and explored.

  • Joan E. Beckner, Senior Attorney, Intellectual Property, OneSubsea™ – A Cameron & Schlumberger Company, Houston, Texas

11:45 am

IP Litigation Avoidance … and What to do if Avoidance Doesn’t Work

Avoiding litigation of any kind is always desirable. This presentation will cover techniques for avoiding IP litigation. In addition to tips for litigation avoidance the presentation will also cover how to handle litigation, should it arise, with a particular view to keeping costs, disruption, and risks as low as possible.

  • Richard F. Phillips, Chief Attorney - Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical, Manager-- Trademark and Copyright Law, Exxon Mobil Corporation

Track 2

Regulatory/Compliance Module

  • Susan Lindberg, Module Chair
    General Counsel, Eni US Operating Co. Inc., Houston, Texas

9:00 am

After Deepwater Horizon: The New Offshore Regulatory Regime

The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused a flurry of regulatory activity designed to meet the challenges and risks of offshore activity generally and deep water drilling in particular. We take a look back at the substantial changes made after Deepwater Horizon and how those changes have been absorbed by industry and implemented by regulators since then. We also look ahead to likely future regulatory and enforcement developments.


  • Michael R. Bromwich, Managing Principal, The Bromwich Group, Washington, DC


  • Allyson K. Anderson, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Washington, D.C.
  • Felipe Bayon, Senior Vice President, BP America, Inc. and Head of Global Deepwater Response, Houston, Texas
  • Charlie Williams, Executive Director, Center for Offshore Safety, Houston, Texas

9:45 am

Enforcement Risk Management: Looking Around the Corner Beyond Regulatory Inspections and Audits

Our panel will identify typical and relatively routine regulatory encounters, including inspections, audits and reporting, and then discuss managing the less visible risk of more serious enforcement actions that can arise from them. The latter includes risk of civil or criminal enforcement investigations or proceedings directed at both corporate entities and individual officers or employees.


  • George J. Terwilliger III, McGuireWoods LLP, Washington, DC


  • Christopher Armstrong, Assistant Chief Attorney – Environmental & Safety Law, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston, Texas
  • Kevin McDonald, Deputy General Counsel – Governance, Compliance & Corporate Services, Marathon Oil Corporation, Houston, Texas
  • Mary Moreland, Chief Compliance Officer, Quanta Services, Inc., Houston, Texas

10:30 am


Environmental Module

  • Robert W. Johnson, Module Chair
    Assistant General Counsel - Legal Services, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston, Texas

10:45 am

Emerging Environmental Legal, Regulatory and Policy Issues for Operators

Oil and Gas Operators continue to face a host of complex legal, regulatory, and policy issues in today's challenging operating environment. What are the issues that are "around the corner" that operators need to be aware of? Our panel of experts will discuss emerging environmental and other issues that the oil and gas industry may face in the next few years. They will discuss what regulators, policy-makers, and environmental interest groups see as key issues of concern, and offer suggestions on what operators ought to be doing now to be best prepared to deal with them.


  • Robert W. Johnson, Assistant General Counsel – Legal Services, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston, Texas


  • Roger Martella, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC
  • Clara Poffenberger, Principal, Clara Poffenberger Environmental Law & Policy, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Peter Zalzal, Senior Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund, Boulder, Colorado

11:30 am

Cacti and Critters - ESA Case Studies and Strategies for Oil and Gas Companies

This presentation will provide an overview of the Endangered Species Act, including the decision making process of listing a species as threatened or endangered, the potential impacts of a listing decision on oil and gas operations, as well as the delisting process. The presentation will utilize two species as a case study to highlight specific challenges to oil and gas leasing and operations and potential strategies to overcome or minimize these challenges.


  • Kristine Linville, Counsel, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston, Texas
  • Bret A. Sumner, Beatty & Wozniak, P.C., Denver, Colorado
  • Brian Rutledge, Executive Director, Audubon Wyoming, Fort Collins, Colorado

IEL Forum

10:45 am

IEL Forum

An unscripted opportunity to discuss current issues in energy practice.

  • Kevin Colosimo, Managing Partner, Pittsburgh Office, Burleson LLP, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Richard C. Vint, Chief Attorney, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Upstream Exploration Law Department, Houston, Texas

12:15 pm

Hosted Luncheon: Deans of Oil and Gas Practice Lecture

  • Professor John S. Lowe, George W. Hutchison Professor of Energy Law, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, Texas

1:45 pm

Ethics Presentation: Litigation Funding

Litigation financing is nonrecourse funding of litigation by a non-party for a profit. It is a burgeoning and controversial phenomenon that has penetrated the Unites States in recent years. This presentation will describe the ethical and economic challenges faced by the parties entering into litigation finance contracts and outline the potential contractual solutions parties have devised to eliminate or minimize such pitfalls.

  • Maya Steinitz, Associate Professor of Law, The University of Iowa, College of Law, Iowa City, Iowa

2:45 pm


CLE Credit

MCLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for a total of 10 hours, including 2 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 901306766. 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.

Sponsorship Opportunities

John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner - $6,000 each
February 19, 2014

 Richard D. Kinder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kinder Morgan

  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be mailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through email and Internet announcements.
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program.
  • Company/firm logo on the Conference website, with link to company/firm website.
  • Recognition at the reception and dinner.
  • 2 complimentary registrants at the Conference.
  • Up to 8 guests at the reception and dinner.
  • One reserved table at the dinner, if desired.
  • (Space permitting), a seat at the dinner head table.
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the Conference.

Canvas Bag - $3,000 each

  • Name/Logo on one side of canvas bag.
  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be mailed and/or emailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through web announcements.
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program.
  • 1 complimentary registrant at the Conference.
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference.

Networking Luncheon - $3,000 each
February 19, 2014

  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be mailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through email and Internet announcements.
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program.
  • Company/firm logo on the Conference website, with link to company/firm website.
  • Recognition at the luncheon.
  • I complimentary registrant at the Conference.
  • Up to 2 guests for the luncheon.
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the Conference.

Deans of Oil and Gas Practice Lecture Luncheon - $3,000 each
February 20, 2014

Lecture presented by Professor John S. Lowe, George W. Hutchison Professor of Energy Law, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, Texas

  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be mailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through email and Internet announcements.
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program.
  • Company/firm logo on the Conference website, with link to company/firm website.
  • Recognition at the luncheon.
  • I complimentary registrant at the Conference.
  • Up to 2 guests for the luncheon.
  • (Space permitting), a seat at the luncheon head table.
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the Conference.

Exhibitor - $1,500 each
February 19-20, 2014

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

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Licia Maria (Lilly) Hogarth, Project Manager, Institute for Energy Law, at 972.244.3424 or

Hotel Information

The Hyatt Regency Houston for the Annual Oil & Gas Conference is sold out over our dates. Guests can contact the following nearby to inquire for availability, but IEL does not have any arrangements with these properties:

Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown

Courtyard Houston Downtown

Magnolia Hotel Houston

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.

Privacy Policy

We do not sell or rent information to any outside parties. By providing your information, you will receive postal and electronic communications from the Institute for Energy Law (IEL) of The Center for American and International Law (CAIL) in accordance with CAIL's Privacy Policy. If we co-sponsor a program with another organization, information may be shared between the parties. All such co-sponsors will be identified on the event details and registration page. At any point, you can opt-out or unsubscribe by selecting either link at the bottom of each email or call us at 972.244.3400.

Sponsor an Event

John Rogers Award Reception and Dinner Sponsors

Deans of Oil & Gas Practice Lecture Luncheon Sponsors

Networking Luncheon Sponsors

Canvas Bag Sponsors